Have you ever noticed that how a thing grows depends on what type of thing it is? The flowers in my backyard flourish if they are planted one foot deep and watered daily. But if I did that to my dog–well, he would not flourish! His nature as a dog requires a different environment and practices, such as exercise and a diet including protein.
Tag: Spiritual Formation
With the Enlightenment’s shift in thinking, we became much more individualistic. This shift has had some positive consequences but quite a few negative results, at both work and church. Last week I discussed one way the church attempts to respond to the loneliness and lack of community experienced by many in local congregations, and some ways we can do better. This week I’ll outline a second problem many small groups face, and the following week I will suggest some solutions.
Last week I suggested our common experience of character formation is incompatible with the soft determinist view of freedom. Since Calvinism depends on soft determinism being true, this is another external conceptual problem for Calvinism. Yet the Calvinist may object on theological grounds. I’ll explore this response today.
After 34 years in ministry, I had the opportunity to take a sabbatical these past three months in order to be renewed, refreshed, and retooled for the next season of ministry. Little did I know a global pandemic would play a defining role in what God wanted me to learn. My sabbatical ended April 30, and as I look back over the past three months I find three lessons the Lord taught (or retaught) me during this time.
Finally, saying “goodbye” well requires a healthy theology of God’s sovereignty and goodness. This will be reflected in the questions we ask. I believe an accurate theology of God’s goodness and sovereignty will lead us to ask the right four questions.
In addition to a healthy theology of grief (last week), a healthy theology of death is also essential to being able to say “goodbye” well when the time comes. Having a “theology of death” may seem odd, morbid, and even wrong. Ours is such a life-affirming and life-focused culture that we rarely think of death. Therefore, it is not surprising that most of us don’t have a theology of death, much less a well-developed one. But this is exactly what we need in order to be able to say goodbye well.
As I shared last week, in January I said “goodbye” to my father, as he passed “from the land of the dying to the land of the living.” Since then I’ve reflected on four principles that can help us say “goodbye” well. I hope you find these principles helpful as you join me in transitioning from the season of saying “hello” to the season of saying “goodbye.”