Many people think that if Jesus paid it all, we now have this divine Visa card with an unlimited balance. We can just flash it whenever we want to cover whatever sin we choose. And as the Apostle Paul anticipated, some people will even justify their actions by saying, “Hey, if God gets more glory by showing grace, doesn’t my sinning give him more space to be glorified?”
As a new Christian at one of the fastest-growing universities in one of the most influential cities in America, I felt a strong urge as a college student to share my faith. I naively switched my major to religious studies and found many academic challenges to my Christian faith. I began to arm myself with introductory apologetics books that equipped me well for classroom discussions and research papers.
In Judges 5, the prophetess Deborah says, “When the princes in Israel take the lead, when the people willingly offer themselves—praise the Lord!” Later, she lists the tribes who stepped up to fight. She laments, however, that “Gilead stayed beyond the Jordan. And Dan, why did he linger by the ships?” It seems that some things never change. We have a lot of men who, like Gilead and Dan, are hanging back by the ships when they ought to be out in the fight.
Over the past 20 years, sports have grown to new heights, with more opportunities and greater publicity than ever before. As this has happened, it’s made it more difficult for families to figure out how to engage in sports in a healthy way amidst all the pressures, potential idolatry, and never-ending opportunities at hand.
There are a number of more liberal theologians today who buck against the idea that Jesus’ death on the cross was a necessary payment for sin. They say that God is not a vengeful God who is angry at sin and trying to exact punishment for it. If anything, they say, on the cross, Jesus was just demonstrating the depth of God’s love for us.
Growing up, conversation around the dinner table was always lively. My family talked over one another, there was constant banter, and we were very sarcastic. It was just the way we communicated with each other. My wife did not come from a family like this, and when we married, she struggled to see the fun in needing to interrupt people and talk louder than everyone to get a word in. When my family would get together for dinner, my wife was outnumbered five to one, so majority wins and the banter would begin.