The Only Lasting Legacy

August 04, 2017 / Seth Pierce

The All Saints Church, in the perfectly named English village of Aldwincle, dates back to the 1300s and was the site of countless weddings, funeral, baptisms and baby dedications. By the 20th century, however, the local parish could no longer sustain the beautiful structure, due to shrinking population and the presence of another church building. After 100 years of “disuse” it was declared “redundant” in 1976. It was then taken over by the Churches Conservation Trust, and a couple days ago I spent the night in it all by myself.

Defending the Faith

July 11, 2017 / Seth Pierce

This summer I have the burden of traveling to Oxford University for my doctoral residency to study the writings of C.S. Lewis. I realize that many of you will feel immediate sympathy for me as I wander the ancient streets of London, peruse ancient manuscripts at the Bodleian Library, and enjoy meals where Lewis and The Inklings (which included J.R.R. Tolkien) gathered.

An Autopsy of Our Death

July 11, 2017 / Martin Weber

Death is the only certainty of life in this world. Yet death is a defeated enemy. In almost taunting words, Scripture declares, “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” and “Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 15:55, 57).

Let’s do an autopsy of death and see how it met its demise through the victorious death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

Life Markers

June 24, 2017 / Seth Pierce

At the time of this column I am wrapping up my second year of Ph.D. studies (and, no, I am not almost done). This semester’s final torture came in the way of a qualitative study involving conversion narratives. Our class interviewed 36 people about their conversion looking at common themes and questions asked during their process. While I will spare you the technical details — since they are reserved for an academic conference this fall — one common trait stuck out and has given me cause for reflection both as a pastor and a believer.

First-Degree Grace

June 24, 2017 / Martin Weber

Football all-pro Aaron Hernandez had everything to live for, seemingly. His starring Super Bowl performance earned him a $41 million contract extension. He had it made!

Then weeks later he was charged with (and ultimately convicted of) murder. Life behind bars was not what he signed up for, and he eventually committed suicide in his jail cell.

Essential Suffering

May 23, 2017 / Seth Pierce

Nothing heralds a holiday like stores loading their shelves with celebration-specific sweets three months prior to said holiday. The day after Halloween, Christmas candy is placed on display, the day after Christmas we are treated to Valentine’s Day candy, and after V-Day sugary Easter goodness glistens and beckons for us to consume it.

My personal favorite is Cadbury’s chocolate eggs. The bite-sized chocolate covered in a crisp candy shell. The texture of that candy shell crunching in my mouth is a delight I wait the entire year for.

My Salvation Army Funeral

May 23, 2017 / Martin Weber

Blessed are the peacemakers.

You never know who will show up at a funeral. Men who normally didn’t attend church listened as I eulogized Scottie, one of the regulars at our daily homeless ministry before he drank himself to death. His buddies were scattered throughout the Salvation Army chapel for the memorial service, along with my clergy colleagues in the community.

Scottie was of infinite value to God and to us, I explained to the group. Suddenly, Sam’s drunken hollering interrupted.

Hide-and-Seek

May 23, 2017 / Seth Pierce

Playing hide-and-seek with small children provides minimal challenge. Often children select obvious places (hiding under a blanket in the middle of the room) or, if the lights have been turned out, will request that you hide with them. At times the anticipation of being found becomes intolerable, and they burst out of closets or cupboards yelling, “HERE I AM!” However, once children grow older they become adept at disappearing.

Will America Exchange Liberty for Security?

March 31, 2017 / Martin Weber

Will America forfeit civil and religious liberties in quest of national security? Our cities seethe with political and racial turmoil, while threats multiply from radical Islamic terrorism. Some foresee a crisis of such magnitude only God can save us. Desperate leaders could transform American democracy into theocracy.

How could that happen? What might it look like?

Consider the following imaginative scenario:[i]

Thesaurus

March 18, 2017 / Seth Pierce

A couple years ago a man named Tom ruined the game show Jeopardy for everyone in the world. The question, or answer as it happens to be in the game of Jeopardy, posed to the contestants read as follows: In common law, the age of this, signaling adulthood, is presumed to be 14 in boys and 12 in girls. “What is puberty?” would have secured a correct answer and $400.

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