My resolutions for the 2015?


  • To have the truth of God like steel poured in my backbone, and the grace of God to bend over backwards for others.
  • To do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with my God. ~Micah 6:8
  • To rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. ~Romans 12:15
  • To be very careful to fear, love and serve the Lord my God with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my might and walk in all his ways, to Know that the Lord my God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations. ~Deuteronomy 6:5, 7:9, 10:12; Joshua 23:11
  • To remind myself that I am clothed with the Righteousness not my own; My sin, guilt, and stain are upon Another; I am forgiven; I can come humbly yet boldly to the Throne of Grace for Jesus, the Righteous One and Sin Bearer pleads my case to the Father Who claims me as His own, “Dave is MINE, no one can pluck him out of MY hand”.
  • To make war. ~Romans 1:16-17, 8:13; Colossians 3:5-10
  • To look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. ~2 Peter 3:13
Advent Christianity Gospel Religion Skepticism

Christmas, A Cure for the Pain of the World

Defenses of Christmas aren’t much better than the attacks. Remember: cynics get intelligence, believers are good hearted, dimwits. Defending anything based on religion, such as Christmas, must rely on feeling and not intellect, says our culture. Christmas is good, because it is about family, as if family is an unmixed blessing for most people. Christmas is good, because it is about “belief,” especially in the spirit of Santa. Since Santa does not exist, and recent holiday movies demand we believe in him, this seems like a call to madness. Christmas is also supposed to be about the “child within,” but in a culture in dire need of grownups this seems dangerous as well. Jesus once said to be like a little child regard to humility, but irrational Christmas marketers aren’t saying that. Christmas seems to involve believing in the unbelievable in order to regress to childishness.

Christmas is about the birth of Jesus, the incarnation of God and Man. If true, it is [a pivotal] moment of history. If false, it is useless. Best reason and best experience argue that it is true. My heart bears witness to His gentle Voice. My mind demands that I accept the truth of history. This moment when Heaven and Earth were brought together is the answer to the pain of our existence and that is the very problem with both cynicism about Christmas and most defenses of the holiday.

The cynics see a world of pain and embrace it. Chaos is basic to their vision of the world, but their very rationality denies this view. The defenders act as if platitudes can solve problems. Warm hearts are not enough against cold reality.

Christmas is for a world of pain. Christmas is good news, because it shows God comes down to Earth and saves us. Such news makes merry, but remains realistic. It is for sin, but about redemption. It denies nothing about human hurts, but does not rest content in them.

~John Mark Reynolds