by G. K. Beale
Some Christians have wondered whether or not COVID-19 is one of the signs that the end of world history and Christ’s final coming is about to occur. With worldwide impact, economic upheaval, church services disrupted, and sickness and death rampant, it could appear that God is unleashing his final judgments on an idolatrous world. But how are we as Christians to view this current pandemic in comparison to previous pandemics?
Revelation 6 and Ezekiel 14 are key passages that help us establish a context for judgments during the “church age” and the unfaithfulness of nations that provokes such a response from God. The purpose of this article is to establish an interpretive lens through these passages and to assert that what has been happening around us is a phenomenon that has occurred throughout world history, but which at the proper time can easily be escalated by God to be events that lead up to the very end of history. Read more
by A. Craig Troxel
“Let’s not kid ourselves, this is not good news.” Those were the words I spoke to Heather Bosgraf as her parents, Jim and Judy, her sister, Kim, and I stood around her hospital bed. Heather had recently won an extended bout with cancer—or so we thought—but her foe had appeared again, and this time it came with a vengeance. Here she was back in the hospital, minutes away from undergoing brain surgery. It was one of those moments when no one, not even a talkative pastor, has words. So I read Psalm 112:6–8:
For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered forever.Read more
He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.
His heart is steady; he will not be afraid, until he looks in triumph on his adversaries.
by Eric B. Watkins
In the aftermath of the death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, a movement known as Black Lives Matter (BLM) has taken the spotlight. BLM now has the power, financial backing, and widespread influence to rival any current political party. The movement has united people across racial, ethnic, and gender barriers in a remarkable way. An overwhelming number of white millennials have been drawn to the movement, but perhaps what has been most noteworthy is the number of evangelical Christians and churches who have begun supporting BLM. This article will attempt to explain the sudden surge of interest in BLM, the theology and ideology of BLM, and finally the doctrine of the church in the context of BLM.
The day George Floyd died, he immediately became the symbol of the movement. His death at the hands of a police officer was tragic, gut-wrenching, and unforgettable. There have been many instances of alleged police brutality in recent years. When, in particular, the officer involved was white and the suspect was black, media outlets immediately rushed to label these events as a part of “systemic racial injustice.” In many, if not most, of these cases, juries would later find the police officer innocent and acting in self-defense. But in the case of George Floyd, a black man was slowly “choked out” over the span of more than eight minutes—and it was all caught on video. This last point is key: the fact that George Floyd’s death was recorded on video not only made it possible for the world to become witness and jury; it sent a flash of emotional fire through the veins of millions of people. George Floyd became the instant symbol of BLM and brought the conflict to a world stage like never before. Read more
by Rachel E. Crum
There is real power in the simplicity of a children’s story and the beauty of its illustrations. Sally Lloyd-Jones, author of The Jesus Storybook Bible, writes that “stories don’t tell the truth confrontationally … [they] come around the side and capture your heart.” If we’re worried that our children won’t learn enough from stories, we can remember that the beauty of the Bible is wrapped up in its story. Stories don’t need to explicitly teach a lesson, because stories in their essence point to the greatest story of all: the gospel.
So what books can we use to capture our children’s hearts with the story of the gospel? Here are a few recommendations of recent publications for children ages one to six. Read more