Mack

189 posts

Children of the Resurrection

Proper 27 (32) (November 10, 2019) – Audio For he is God not of the dead, but of the living; for to God all are alive. Amen.  It is perhaps not so common now, but for centuries in the Christian world a common criticism leveled at someone was that they are being “Pharisaical.” Even today, in some circles, you will hear people criticize other kinds of Christians as being “like the Pharisees.” This derives, of […]

All Saints’ Day 2019 – Beautiful & Terrible Things

It is perhaps fitting that first thing Friday morning, the First of November, All Saints’ Day, Editor Jessica sent me the final draft of Beautiful & Terrible Things. The book is written, edited, and now awaits copy editing, formatting, and marketing. Coming in at 164 pages and 51,800 words, I hope it is not overly long or too anemic. Today I had the privilege to hear Dr. Peter Kreeft speak on the question of suffering […]

Do I believe?

An excerpt from my forthcoming book, Beautiful and Terrible Things. In the months following Mack’s death I would not say that I had a crisis of faith, but I certainly felt a general malaise. I was writing about Mack’s death and my faith in his/our resurrection, and at the same time there was no doubt that I felt a pall over me. Then we decided to go to my parents’ church for Easter. The reading […]

Why “It is better to go to the house of mourning.”

This quote comes from Ecclesiastes which I have been working with (as I strive to finish my book by the August 1 deadline!). For the first time I noticed the rest of the verse. It is better to go to the house of mourningthan to go to the house of feasting;for this is the end of everyone,and the living will lay it to heart. Ecclesiastes: 7:2  “For this is the end of everyone and the […]

The Color Green

Green is not life It is not verdant, growth, eternal It is not a leaf or a clover It is nothing but Green is a color, a slice of spectrum Green is not those other things It is color, frequency, not even universal Some see gray, some see nothing at all Still they know life, growth, eternal Green is just a color Green is a memory Blue is bluer with green It is promise, hope, […]

Suffering: “Our net of meaning is too small.”

To the ‘why’ of suffering we get no firm answer. Of course some suffering is easily seen to be the result of our sin: war, assault, poverty amidst plenty, the hurtful word. And maybe some is chastisement. But not all. The meaning of the remainder is not told us. It eludes us. Our net of meaning is too small. There’s more to our suffering than our guilt. Nicholas Wolterstorff, Lament for a Son, (Grand Rapids, […]

C. S. Lewis on God’s Sovereignty, Free Will, and Suffering

It turns out, judging by the notes in the margin, I had read C. S. Lewis’ The Problem of Pain some time ago. I did not remember having done so, but perhaps it impacted my thinking more than it did my memory of the actual reading of it. Or perhaps I had already come to similar conclusions before I read his book. I have no way of knowing. Below are a few quotes from that […]

The Utter Unacceptability of Death

My SEC colleague from Vanderbilt this week graciously gave me the gift of a slim volume by a former professor of his. The book is A Boy Thirteen: Reflections on Death (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1975), by Jerry A. Irish. Their 13 year old son Lee died of meningitis in 1973, the second of their three sons to die within 4 years. The younger son had been born with a serious heart defect and died before […]

Beautiful and Terrible Things Book Contract

I am very pleased and proud to announce that I have signed a contract with Westminster John Knox Press to publish Beautiful and Terrible Things! The publication date is Fall 2020. I am so thankful for everyone who has and continues to engage with me on matters relating to the biblical theology of suffering and grace. This book is intended for all audiences and your feedback, pushback, and questions are integral to the refining and […]