Last week was an odd week on the blog. It was one that humbled me in such profound ways. The readers of this blog shocked and amazed me with their kindness, encouragement, and continued support of what I try to do here.
My series of discussions with my Atheist friend concluded on (what I felt was) a high note. The number of readers of that series numbered into the thousands, even though the writings were so long. (I copied and pasted all the posts into a single Word document just for the heck of it, and it was over 100 pages long–single-spaced! So if you read most of those, then congratulations, you finished a book in a week-and-a-half.)
People in all parts of my life were reading (at least some of) these pieces. People at work, church, Facebook, and Twitter all sought me out to encourage me in these conversations. The diversity of people who were keeping track of this stunned me and humbled me. I couldn’t believe how many people would spend their time reading stuff I wrote and listening to my own thoughts and opinions about things.
Okay, for those that haven’t been keeping up with this. I wrote a post about meeting God in an illness I was facing. Steve Wolf left a comment taking issue with joyfully finding this sickness within God’s Providence. I wrote a response to him. He wrote a response to me. I then sent my final reply to Him. He sent his final reply. Now, an old friend of mine, Jen Justice, who is both one of the most faithful women of God I know and someone who has faced many medical issues in her life wishes to give a few words to Steve. I knew her in Richmond and she now lives in Atlanta with her husband Josh. She is a woman full of both wisdom and grace and this response from her to Steve exemplifies this well. Also be sure to read her article on humility she wrote for my old web magazine Reform & Revive. Here’s Jen:
First, I just want to let you know that no one is mad at you for healing people. I also believe in the gift of healing and praise God whenever He heals someone. I continue to ask Him to heal me, and I’m grateful whenever a brother or sister prays for my healing, as well.
I’m almost done going through 2 Corinthians, and last night I came across that oh-so-familiar passage of 2 Corinthians 12:7-11:
So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
I thought I’d share some of the things that really spoke to me as I meditated on it:
Remember “that” article I was talking about last week? The one that may begin some “controversy” at GoingToSeminary.com?
Well, it’s up now.
It’s part one of two on a little series I’m writing on doctrinal changes while in seminary. As I said then, I’m more concerned about this next article than this one. If it even comes out. In an hour and a half I have been called upon by the “Vice President of Advancement” and “Associate Professor of Systematic Theology” of Westminster Theological Seminary, David Garner to grab some lunch. I have no idea what the topic of conversation is (and the one time I’ve asked, he never answered), but I’m optimistic. He has always been one of my favorite professors I ever had and has one of the most pastoral, worshipful, Christ-centered hearts I’ve ever seen in a man. I look up to him greatly as a pastor, preacher, teacher, husband, and father.
But, he is very much on the side of the issues at Westminster that I am not. So I’m wondering what this is about. I haven’t been that vocal against WTS have I? I feel like whenever I have I’ve always made it clear that this is my opinion and I that I know I’m still young, arrogant, and don’t know anything. I don’t know. We’ll see. I may let you all know. But, in the meantime, read and enjoy the article “Letting Seminary Doctrinally Change You” at GoingToSeminary.com. Here it is:
Check out the rest of my Going To Seminary posts.