This Christmas season the truth about God and his Son is mixed with cultural myth and fantasy. This mixture dilutes the power of the gospel. This mixing of truth and cultural myth can also help to mislead your children about the real meaning of the incarnation of Christ. For example, look at Luke 2:14: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” ESV
Please don’t worry–this blog has not embraced materialism! I will admit, though, the title of this post does appear to be influenced by the profit motive. But the notion that making money and following God are polar opposites actually represents a cultural bias, not a biblical one. Does that surprise you? Let me illustrate. It would not seem unsettling for a farmer to ask God to bless the harvest and provide a good crop. In an agrarian culture it would be only fitting to acknowledge God’s control over all the details that affect the harvest. Yet most of us would not recognize the same dependence on God’s control of business and retail that we do for agriculture. But the Scriptures […]
A recent Rasmussen poll found that fifty-three percent (53%) of Americans say they are more thankful this Thanksgiving than they were last year at this time. Digging a little deeper into the contents of the poll, I found a question about religion and thankfulness. The poll found that the plurality (41%) of adults say their religious faith is what they are most thankful for, after family and health. In other words, the thing that most adults are thankful for after their family and health is their religious faith. These findings in the poll point to a sharp distinction between religious faith and biblical Christianity. The first commandment says that there shall be no other gods before the one true God. […]
In this series of posts on talking to your children about the death of one close to them, there is one aspect that was not specifically covered : how should the death of an unbeliever be discussed? This is an important consideration. Dan posted the following comment on a previous post: This post is very timely! My kids just lost their grandfather last week. I do not believe that he knew Christ. Any advice on dealing with this would be helpful and appreciated.
An honest answer to this question says much about your relationship with God. In the Scriptures, gratitude is a command. It is not an option. This in itself cuts across the grain of our flesh. Deciding what we will be thankful for is kind of an unwritten right that we assume for ourselves. What we are thankful for is personal. The command to Be thankful! (whether we feel like it or not) is a command we humans are not at ease with. But I Thessalonians 5:18 makes it clear that God commands gratitude from his people:
This is the third and last post in this series on what to say to your children when someone close to them dies. The topic of death is challenging. But as Christians, we should not fear talking about it. Jesus Christ has won the victory over death. Our children must see that we have the faith and courage to actually live out this reality. This is the test of whether we live by faith or by sight. Our children know the difference. In order to comfort our children we must experience comfort ourselves. This is Paul’s message in his second letter to the Corinthians.
In the last post we began discussing how to talk about death with your children. In that post we laid the foundation for thinking biblically about death and dying. Our culture attempts to avoid the reality of death by emphasizing the illusion of life without Christ. In 1 Timothy 6:19 Paul encourages us to take hold of life that is truly life. By implication, this means that there is life that is really not life at all, but death masquerading as life. It is this imposture of life that our culture worships. Thus, the culture focuses not on the life to come, but exclusively on life in the fallen world. The 21st century is unlike the 19th century in this […]
Someone recently wrote in and asked how to talk with a young child who had just unexpectedly lost a close relative. This is a subject we have not yet specifically addressed in this blog, but it is a question that needs good biblical answers. The discussion must be addressed with gentleness and care. There are some things that can and should take place to prepare for this discussion. So, let’s start with laying a solid biblical foundation about life and death.
The title of this post doesn’t make sense. Fools, by definition, are not wise. This is the fourth of Tedd Tripp’s concerns for parents today. The first three concerns were these: grasping the importance of formative instruction, establishing a biblical view of authority and maintaining biblical communication. The fourth concern is developing the ability to contrast the supposed wisdom of fools with the wisdom of God. The book of Proverbs is the perfect place to see this contrast vividly laid out.