Elders Rule! But Congregations Decide

Elders Rule! But Congregations Decide

[This essay was originally published on February 7, 2014.] Those who think that churches should be governed by a self-perpetuating boards of elders have two main arguments. The first is that the sheep (i.e., ordinary believers under the care of shepherds or elders)...
Tried with Fire: Teaching a Lesson

Tried with Fire: Teaching a Lesson

It was the best day of his life. He had been blind from birth. One day as he sat begging he heard himself being discussed. Men were asking a rabbi whether the blindness was because of his sins or his parents’ sin. The teacher replied that it was neither:...
Tried with Fire: Why Us?

Tried with Fire: Why Us?

The early chapters of Genesis trace death to Adam’s sin. Along with death came an entire brood of calamities. Alienation from God, suspicion of and hostility toward other people, grinding labor, sorrow, and physical pain all began with the sentence of death. At...
Tried with Fire: Death and Its Brood

Tried with Fire: Death and Its Brood

God did not create human beings to suffer or die. Nothing in the Bible teaches that pain had any place in the world God made. God fashioned humanity, both male and female, as part of His good creation. He gave them His blessing. He put them in a place of shelter and...