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June 8, 2020

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Timothy Keller’s Prayer Request

Timothy Keller

The Rev. Timothy Keller has been a voice of sanity in America’s turbulent religious world. The 69-year-old founder of Manhattan’s Redeemer Presbyterian Church has written a slew of books, all of which have evaded political partisanship and the culture wars while remaining firmly biblical.

Many are now in fervent prayer. He notified the public that he’s undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer. Here’s his prayer request, which I saw on Twitter Today:

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June 8, 2020

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Asking The No-No Question

Theologian John Jefferson Davis asks the question few dare ask — “Is the COVID 19 virus a judgement from God?” — with at least two twists.

First, he refuses to shame the curious. He even says: “That’s a fair and appropriate question.” How novel. Many supposedly sophisticated Christians — including evangelicals — poo-poo the query beneath the God-is-Love banner: “Our God is ever graceful and merciful and would never permit a plague.”

But, clearly, God does permit — and even inaugurates — plagues. Witness His stark promise to the ancient Israelites lest they rebel: “The Lord will plague you with diseases until he has destroyed you from the land you are entering to possess. The Lord will strike you with wasting disease, with fever and inflammation, with scorching heat and drought, with blight and mildew, which will plague you until you perish” (Deuteronomy 28:21-22, NIV). And there’s Joel 1:4, where God threatens to unloose a plague of locusts.

But speculating over God’s wrath isn’t popular among many Christian intellects, so they frown and sigh. They’ll pat inquirers on the head and make them feel small. That abandons the issue to the likes of Kenneth Copeland, who said the virus is here because President Donald Trump’s opponents had “opened the door” in their displays of anti-Trump hatred — or to the Elijah List’s so-called prophets (see Robert Henderson’s March 10 statement: “I also understand that the intent of the devil is to disrupt the economy of our nation. This is what the devil understands he must do, to seek to deny President Trump the re-election”).

Thoughtful discussion would probe how our Lord handles the question.

Which brings us to Davis’s second twist. He points to Luke 13:1-5, which alludes to a forgotten incident in which a tower collapsed and killed eighteen people. Jesus mentions the victims and asks: “Do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish” (verses 4-5, NIV).

The all-important point: The proper response to God’s wrath is personal and corporate repentance. No finger-pointing.

In allowing for the possibility that God is sending us a “wake up call,” Davis offers balance — and he doesn’t dis anyone who dares to ask the dreaded question.

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June 4, 2020

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Religious Leaders Blast Racism & Despotism

So Pat Robertson is on the same page as Fuller Theological Seminary. Who would-a thunk it?

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May 27, 2020

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When Fear Is Good

Imagine you’ve achieved the American dream and you’re wandering your middle-class castle, chomping an apple. Suddenly, you smell that tell-tale smell as the smoke alarm blares. Your reaction? You resolve: “I won’t yield to fear. I’ll stuff cotton in my ears and munch my apple and, when I feel like it, I’ll call the alarm […]

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April 11, 2020

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Living Through Saturday

Our presuppositions — plagues are a thing of the past — have been strewn on the floor.

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April 10, 2020

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Scenes on Good Friday, 2020

Two brief scenes exemplify Good Friday in 2020, the year of COVID-19. The first is Pope Francis laying prostrate in a near-empty Saint Peter’s Basilica: The second is a service in a near-empty Notre Dame Cathedral, which fire gutted a year ago. There’s life even in the emptiness.

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April 1, 2020

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Flawed reasoning meets sound logic in Tennessee

Some are geniuses at baptizing weird syllogisms.

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March 29, 2020

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Is Grandma worth the price?

Hear the resurgence of Social Darwinism, a discredited 19th-century ideology that baptized rivalry.

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