“Hug your kids, kiss your wife, and give thanks to the Lord”

When I read that 58-character tweet, I immediately clicked ‘Follow’ on the Twitter profile.  Here is a man I can learn from, I thought.  Here is a man who appears to have a profoundly biblical perspective on life.   True, the tweet by itself doesn’t express anything extraordinary.  But then you hear the backstory.

R. C. Sproul, Jr.’s wife died less than a year ago.  And at the time of the tweet — September 30 — his fifteen-year-old daughter was about to die.  Shannon, whom R. C. affectionately called Princess Happy, was born with a brain disease called lissencephaly, which left her severely impaired.  (That’s Shannon and R. C. in the picture above.  You can watch a short video of Shannon here.)  Shannon passed away three days later.

Two deaths in the immediate family within a year.  Layered grief.  Sorrow upon sorrow.  That’s quite a backstory.

Over the last month R. C. has shared some of his grief on Twitter, and the blessing to me has been immeasurable.  I have benefited so much from his thoughts that I wanted to share them with others.  What follows is a compilation of numerous tweets over the past month related to R. C.’s suffering.  His journey through the valley of the shadow of death can instruct and edify us all. Read the rest of this entry »

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“I’m disappointed in you” are some of the hardest words we can hear.  Ed Welch writes:

If my wife says, “I am so angry with you,” I can live with that. But if she says, “I’m not angry. I am just disappointed in you,” that is unbearable. I feel like a scolded puppy. My tail goes between my legs, I retreat to the corner, and . . . I feel helpless because I am not sure what I can do to change her opinion. I could ask forgiveness, and she would be quick to forgive, but I would still be left feeling like a disappointment. Forgiveness does not remove disappointment. Maybe I would make vows to do better and spend the rest of the day living out those vows, but it would still be unbearable.

After exploring the problem further, Ed offers a meaningful remedy.  Here’s a hint at his conclusion: “There are no doghouses in the kingdom of God.”

You can read the whole article here.

 

I would like to propose that we rethink how to interpret one aspect of the Parable of the Prodigal Son, better named the Parable of the Lost Sons (Luke 15:11-32).  Ironically, the one aspect I have in mind is the point at which there is the least controversy.  Though some debate has surrounded the identity of the two sons and the significance of the feast items (i.e., the robe, the ring, the fatted calf), one particular facet of the parable has enjoyed nearly universal agreement in interpretation.  I’m speaking of the father of the two sons.

Since the time of Jerome, Ambrose, and Augustine, the father in the parable has been understood to be God, as in God the Father, the first person of the Trinity.  God the Father is he who runs to the prodigal son; God the Father is he who entreats the elder brother.  Modern evangelical scholarship concurs with this ancient interpretation, as does popular evangelical preaching.  Of course the father is the Father!  How could it be otherwise?

I think this interpretation is wrong.  Slightly.  It needs a tweak. Read the rest of this entry »