why me?

These are questions we tend to ask when things aren’t going the way we would desire for them to go.  Why me?  Why this? Why now?

Justin Taylor posts an answer tree from David Powlison, “God’s Grace and Your Sufferings,”  in Suffering and the Sovereignty of God (pp. 172-173)..

here is a paragraph from the middle, but you really have to go read and perhaps meditate on the whole thing

As that deeper question sinks home, you become joyously sane. The universe is no longer supremely about you. Yet you are not irrelevant. God’s story makes you just the right size. Everything counts, but the scale changes to something that makes much more sense. You face hard things. But you have already received something better which can never be taken away. And that better something will continue to work out the whole journey long.

I have the Kindle version of Suffering and the Sovereignty of God on my iPhone. Obviously, I need to read past the introduction.

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David Powlison on marital intimacy

fascinating talk from David Powlison on marital intimacy. Part 2 below about transparency in small groups about struggles is critically important. making prayer requests that are personal, real, and humbling is extremely important. If you are part of a group where the culture says that it is not ok to not be ok, then you need to find another group where you can be real even when you aren’t ok.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

HT to Justin Taylor

tornados and Lutherans

I am sure everybody has seen John Piper’s post about Providence, Tornados, Lutherans and Homosexuality. If not, hie thee hence and get after it.

6. Conclusion: The tornado in Minneapolis was a gentle but firm warning to the ELCA and all of us: Turn from the approval of sin. Turn from the promotion of behaviors that lead to destruction. Reaffirm the great Lutheran heritage of allegiance to the truth and authority of Scripture. Turn back from distorting the grace of God into sensuality. Rejoice in the pardon of the cross of Christ and its power to transform left and right wing sinners.

There is a disturbing distortion that is disturbingly common among people who claim to be Christ followers. it is the confusion of the unconditional love with which God loves us and the license that comes from thinking of God’s grace as a cheap get out of hell free card and nothing more.

here is how David Powlison put it.

There is something wrong with you! From God’s point of view, you not only need someone else to be killed in your place in order to be forgiven, you need to be transformed to be fit to live with. The word ‘unconditional’ may be an acceptable way to express God’s welcome, but it fails to communicate its purpose: a comprehensive and lifelong rehabilitation, learning ‘the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.’ Seeing with New Eyes. (pp.168-169)

and here is Todd Buru’s followup to the Powlison quote:

But even further than this, I think that by referring to God’s love as unconditional we have begun importing the cultural understanding of this concept into our Christian practice. We are tolerant of all sorts of devaint behavior and sin, especially our own, and so is “God”. We want to be able to pray a prayer and then go back to business as usual and so that’s what “God” commands. We have trouble speaking up about the Bible’s comments on gender roles and sexuality and so we find inventive ways to change “God’s” mind on them. From all of this we get things such as easy believism, free grace theology, and even Christian universalism, which in my mind is the next big conflict rising within the church.