My take on the ferocious prayers of the Psalms is that Christians shouldn’t skip over them, nor should we pray them exactly as they stand.  My reasoning is summed up in one word: Jesus.  The gospel of Jesus is the supreme fact of the universe, and so we must learn to interpret all things in light of the gospel.  And by all things I mean all things, including the world around us, the Bible, that big book called Psalms in the middle of the Bible, and all the imprecations therein.

So, you find yourself on the receiving end of terrible evil.  Or you’re grieved and angered upon seeing how others are oppressed.  You turn to the Psalms to find a voice for your anguish.  And there they are—a short outburst here, sustained smoldering there—cries to God to do violence to his enemies.  I gave examples of these prayers here, and I argued that it’s okay to pray these prayers, provided we pray them in light of the gospel, here.  So what does that look like?  How are you, as a Christian, to pray these prayers? Read the rest of this entry »

The most likely explanation for why the Psalms have never made a person uncomfortable is that the person has never read all of them.  Woven throughout the beautiful prayers of praise and thanksgiving, of lament and confession, are appeals to God to do violence to his enemies.  I gave some examples of these prayers yesterday.

The Psalms include ferocious prayers, more commonly called prayers of imprecation.  Should Christians pray these prayers?  If so, how are we to pray them?  Those are the questions I want to answer. Read the rest of this entry »

How do you pray for the young man who date-raped your daughter?  How do you pray for the terrorist?  How do you pray for the kids at school who are pressuring your son to try drugs?  How do you pray for the uncle who is abusing you?  How do you pray for those unreached people who tortured and killed your missionary husband?  How do you pray for government officials who authorize the persecution of Christians?  When you suffer evil, how do you pray? Read the rest of this entry »

boston-marathon-explosion

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.  Not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

– Jesus | John 14:27

Heavenly Father, our hearts are troubled and we are afraid.  Please grant peace to Boston and to us all.  We turn to you in the name of your Son, who was killed and rose again.  Amen.  

The Rise of the Papacy

March 25, 2013

With the resignation of Pope Benedict and the installation of Pope Francis, the question of how the papacy began is a good one to ask.  Catholics believe that Jesus himself laid the foundation for papal succession when he announced that the church would be built on Peter (Matthew 16:18-19).  Peter, therefore, acting as bishop of Rome, passed down his apostolic authority to his successor.  That successor passed Peter’s authority to the next, and so on down to the election of Jorge Mario Bergoglio two weeks ago.  Bergoglio, taking the name Francis, is the 266th Pope.

“The problem with this explanation,” writes David Wells, “is that there is no evidence to sustain it.”

Well’s brief article is an informative and interesting look at the reality behind the rise of the papacy.  You can read the article here.

(HT: Justin Taylor)