Further Up and Further In

My favorite moment in all of the Narnia books by C.S. Lewis is the last part of the final book, The Last Battle. The children enter into the “real Narnia” through a narrow door and find that this new Narnia is even more beautiful and more real than the one they had known. They are constantly invited to come “further up and further in.” At each successive turn, just when they think they had arrived at their destination, they found that something more spectacular was yet beyond and they needed to go even further in to reach it. And so it went, journeying further up and further in, always more elated than the moment before. From the book: For them, it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page;…

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When a Black Man Marries a White Woman

Few people actually think of themselves as racist. It is social suicide. But that doesn’t keep people from harboring subtle prejudices in their hearts that may seem innocent enough. Some of the most bigoted things I have ever heard from other peoples’ mouths were often preceded by the phrase, “I’m not a racist, but…” Many feel that racial reconciliation should be sought — as long as white daughters don’t marry black men, or as long as black daughters don’t marry white men. Of course, this is all couched in the sincerest of concerns, such as, “I’m not a racist, but I just think that this will cause unnecessary problems in your marriage. What will people think?” Or, “I’m not a racist, but what if you have children? Do you really want them to grow up being half-white and half-black?” When I was working at a Circuit City store once, I…

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Cincinnati Round Up

Here’s a compendium of recent internet articles about the Queen City that I found interesting. Cincinnati is a top ten city for relocation. An urban wanderer gives an outsider’s honest take on Cincinnati. Cincy has an embarrassment of riches in top notch cultural institutions, parks, modern architecture, and several Fortune 500 company’s headquarters. The Cleveland Free Times discusses the effects of sprawl on population centers in Ohio. The Cincinnati Reds are on a tear, completing a 6 game win streak, the longest in the major leagues, having just swept in-state rival Cleveland Indians and Florida Marlins before that. Up next: the Dodgers.

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Personal Updates

I don’t like using this blog for personal updates, but I have a couple of updates worth publishing. First: Our house is now under contract. We’re praying that there aren’t any problems with this and everything will go smoothly through the process. We’re set to close on June the 27th, which means that we will be moving to Cincinnati at that time. Second: We’re having another baby boy! Laura was convinced it was a girl all along, but I thought it was a boy. Reese is very disappointed. You can track with our family and kids stuff at Laura’s blog.

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Give Until It Hurts

If every Christian is called to be generous with their resources, how much should we give? To what extent should we sacrifice? I am reading Tim Keller’s book Ministries of Mercy: The Call of the Jericho Road and he offers a helpful principle. “Be sure that your giving cuts into your own lifestyle so that the burden of the needy falls on you.” He is essentially arguing that if your giving habits do not alter your lifestyle in someway, you aren’t giving enough yet. You should give until you feel pinched. He also quotes another book by Thomas Gouge, who said that “the poor have a right unto part of thine estate.” God supplies some of us with abundance so that we can steward it properly by giving to meet others needs. Gouge says that the poor man’s bread rots in my cupboard, the poor man’s clothes hangs useless in…

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Race and the Evangelical Slavery Problem

Pop Quiz. First Question: Who are some of the most beloved figures of American Evangelicalism? Answer. Consider these names: Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, and Charles Hodge. Great theologians and preachers all. Second Question: Even though most African American Christians believe in a generally evangelical theology, why do so few identify with evangelicalism as a broader movement? Answer. Consider these names: Jonathan Edwards (owned at least 6 slaves), George Whitefield (slave owner, fought for legalization of slavery in Georgie, used slave labor in his orphanage, bought 20+ slaves in his lifetime), Charles Hodge (defender of the slave trade). Also, Charles Finney, D.L. Moody and Billy Graham all preached to segregated audiences even while on some level denouncing the slave trade (source: The American Evangelical Story by Doug Sweeney). In other words, history shows us that white evangelical heroes of the American past have either outright participated in slavery or at least…

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Backwards Bible Verse: Are You Blind?

Backwards Verse of the Day #15: John 9:39-41 The state of unbelief in Christ is not a matter of whether or not one chooses to believe in Christ, but rather it is a much more profound condition. Throughout the Scriptures God calls this, in one form or another, “Spiritual Blindness.” The biggest problem with spiritual blindness is that those who are blind don’t know they are blind. Here are a couple of examples. 1. Isaiah’s call to ministry in Isaiah 6 is to preach to people who “keep on seeing but do not perceive.” 2. When the ministry of the Messiah is summarized in Matthew 11, it includes this: “the blind receive their sight…” 3. Paul explains the power of the gospel by calling it a shining of the gospel’s light into spiritual darkness. God says “Let there be light!” to the spiritually blind person and “creates” light and sight…

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