Engaging Culture With Wisdom and Grace

MARIA CURREY | CONTRIBUTOR “If only one more page, one more encounter, one more embrace,” your heart moans. When you find someone or something engaging, what is it that makes you want more? Maybe it is their compelling and charismatic personality? It might be a book or movie which grips your attention—when no matter how many other tasks beckon for your attention, you cannot help but turn the pages or watch it through to the credits, and you feel like a best friend moved away when it ends. The characters linger, the impression of that special person remains long after bidding farewell. In sharp contrast, we often find ourselves in a culture of criticism, cruelty, cancelling, and cut-throat competition, so, how do we take the myriad tensions and reconcile them with our Christian calling? How do we engage culture with wisdom and grace? Bury your head in the uncountable sands of Scripture and wait for Jesus to return? As comfortingly cocooned as such an action-plan may be, the losses would be countlessly grievous—both to our hearts and to a lost swath of culture needing and waiting for Jesus’ winsome love. What if you and I are the pivotal story of Jesus to be watched and read for those who are eternally lost? What if the Holy Spirit has a special assignment for the pages of your life to be the unfolding of wisdom and grace? God’s gifts perfectly crafted through your uniquely designed life. Remember the Psalm 139 promises that you are “fearfully and wonderfully made;” the images of His handiwork are the wisdom and grace of God in you! Why are wisdom and grace critical hooks in our life stories?...

Engaging Culture With Wisdom and Grace2024-05-31T15:47:54+00:00

Four Reasons to Study Theology

JULIANNE ATKINSON |GUEST When I lived in Alaska, my friends and I went on several 30-mile treks. There was one trek where we hiked the first ten miles and went to sleep that night to expansive mountain views as far as the eye could see. We woke up the next morning after a cold night on a hard floor to a completely opaque cloud cover. We couldn’t see three feet in front of us. We wandered the Alaskan wilderness searching for trail cairns to take us to the next point on the bald faces of the mountainside. The rain wasn’t as much falling, as we were walking IN it. We decided to finish the hike a day early and with our soaked-through waterproof boots we traversed 20 miles through a wet cloud. We saw the boggy ground. We saw the great dark shapes slowly take form on the horizon as we went up and down, up and down, up and down. We bonded over trying to make sense of where we were on the elevation map. We felt joy in the accomplishment and relief when we made it to our cars and subsequently, pizza on the other side. We finished the journey, but we missed what we came to see. On the last weekend of the summer, we took on the Kesugi Ridge trail in Denali State Park. Denali, the famed highest peak in North America, is seen only 30% of the time. You never know how clear your weather will be, but there’s always the hope it will be clear enough to see. That weekend we hiked the first ten miles up Kesugi Ridge and set up camp opposing the crystal-clear Alaskan sunset over the snowy, awe-inspiring mountain towering over the entire Alaska Range in the distance. We hydrated our hot meals and couldn’t believe the glory of God revealed before our eyes. We could see what God had made and it turned our eyes and hearts to Him. In a similar way, when we don’t study theology, we might complete the journey we set out on. We might even love what we see of God through the misty ups and downs of life. But what we see on the clouded journey is nowhere near the satisfaction we COULD experience with the rich and beautiful full picture of who He is. So, what is it that we’re missing out on if we don’t pursue the study of theology?...

Four Reasons to Study Theology2024-05-09T18:57:11+00:00
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