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Friday, May 31, 2019

The Elusive Love of God with Mark Galli

The Elusive Love of God

There was a time when evangelical Christians cared more about God than justice or virtue or church planting or spirituality or politics or a host of activities that possess our imaginations. By way of contrast, in the beginning of evangelical religion (1730s), pastor-theologian Jonathan Edwards lived at a time when
….on whatever occasions persons met together, Christ was to be heard of, and seen in the midst of them. Our young people, when they met, were wont to spend the time in talking of the excellency and dying love of Jesus Christ, the glory of the way of salvation, the wonderful, free, and sovereign grace of God, His glorious work in the conversion of a soul, the truth and certainty of the great things of God's word, the sweetness of the views of His perfections.
Whatever happened to our God passion is the theme of the most recent article in The Elusive Presence series.
Why Is It So Hard to Believe?
If love of God is a challenge for believers, belief itself is a challenge for everyone else. Andrew Klavan, on the way to arguing “why we shouldn’t abandon the faith that has nourished Western civilization,” summarizes by saying,
The point of this essay is not to argue the truth of Christianity. I argue only this: the modern intellectual’s difficulty in believing is largely an effect created by the overwhelming dominance of the Enlightenment Narrative, and that narrative is simplistic and incomplete.
Klavan, by the way, is an accomplished novelist, and if you enjoy well-written, fast-paced fiction with engaging plot twists, check out his books.
American Politicians, Take Note
I had about given up on the ability of the modern world, especially America, to raise up thoughtful, compassionate, and strong political leaders. And then I read Volodrymyr Zelenskyy’s first speech as Ukraine’s new president. Among other great lines:
And please, I really don’t want you to hang my portraits on your office walls. Because a president is not an icon and not an idol. A president is not a portrait. Hang pictures of your children. And before you make any decision, look into their eyes.
Of course, the proof will be in his presidency, but if leadership is first about inspiring vision, he’s off to a good start.
It’s the Small Things
At the risk of starting a marital argument among GR readers, here’s a short video on the small things that divide us. And yet, the ending suggests that the small things that feel like big things are not the end of the world.
Grace and peace,

Mark GalliMark Galli
Mark Galli
Editor-in-Chief, Christianity Today

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