1 John 5:4-13
In the latest episode of the “Mortification of Spin” podcast, the hosts interview Dr. Douglas Groothuis about his book Walking through Twilight: A Wife’s Illness, A Philosopher’s Lament. Dr. Groothuis’ wife Becky suffers from primary progressive aphasia, a condition that affects the ability to speak, read, and write. It can also affect understanding and memory.
During the interview, Dr. Groothuis speaks about the changes he and his wife have been undergoing. He addresses how his faith impacts his care for Becky and how Christians can provide support to families with this type of illness. I found Dr. Groothuis’ remarks helpful, and I look forward to reading this book soon so I can understand how to provide pastoral care for individuals and families experiencing the difficulty of this illness.
Groothuis reflects on his role as his wife’s primary caregiver. He shares with us his personal suffering and life’s dynamics in light of her illness, the ministry of the body of Christ, and how God is glorified through it all
There is a resurgence of confessional Anglicanism in the United States.
What do I mean by “confessional” Anglicanism? I mean an Anglican identity based on the Reformation principles outlined in the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion of 1571 and put into practice through the liturgy of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. Confessional Anglicans are Protestant, Reformed, evangelical–descriptors that would be redundant in an earlier age. Confessional Anglicans truly believe in the doctrines of the Reformation and want the worship of the church to be shaped by these biblical principles.
Confessional Anglicans do not view the Articles as a solely historical document locked in a particular era of time that only provides an antiquated snapshot of a quaint “golden age” of the English church. No, these are Anglicans of substance. These are folks who see the Articles as a confession of Reformed Protestant belief and practice that is binding today. These are Anglicans committed to the Bible, the creeds, and the doctrines of grace.
They are not interested in a monarchical episcopate, medieval views of the sacraments, milquetoast preaching, and ritualism. Instead of imitating the entrenched errors of Rome and Constantinople, they want a Christ-centered worship, filled with biblical preaching, right use of the sacraments, and godly discipline. They want to hear the Word of God read with authority, preached with authority, believed with authority. They want a liturgy that serves as a bellows to fan gospel flames.
This sort of Anglican has been around for a long time. However, in the United States, the slant of Romish ritualism has almost strangled the confessional witness of Anglicanism. Today, through casual connections and informal discussions, confessionalism is gaining steam. This means there are Anglicans who relish being called Protestants and Calvinists. They take joy in expository preaching and speaking on critical issues with clarity–instead of the “Anglican doublespeak” of many church leaders, both liberal and conservative.
Confessionalism is not monolithic, either among Anglicans or other Reformed churches. How this growing grassroots movement of churchmen will solidify remains to be seen. For the present, these reformational Anglicans are developing relationships with like-minded believers, both within and without their own denominations. Some of them may be found in surprising places. In any case, the church needs their witness, their call to return to the Scriptures, to a confessing faith.
The Gospel Coalition podcast recently featured an interview of Andy Crouch by Collin Hansen. They discussed how technology (particularly smartphones and similar devices) affect children and family life . They share valuable reflections on the sort of serious considerations Christians should give to how we use technology.
Andy Crouch on How to Become a Tech-Wise Family: Collin Hansen interviews Andy Crouch about putting technology in its proper place.
The death of an American soldier in combat is painful. The agony of loss is heart-wrenching. I’ve looked at the faces of the dead, those who were beside me talking only a few moments ago.
I’ve looked in the faces of their friends; for some, friends for years: through basic training, AIT, and a first assignment together. These are friends who were in pain. Their grief was visible. Sometimes is came out in anger, sometimes in laughter, sometimes in tears, sometimes in rigid features that could not express the pain.
I’ve looked in the faces of their family members: wives, parents, siblings, grandparents, uncles and aunts, and others. Sharing memories with them was an a privilege. Hearing their memories was an even greater privilege.
Those men weren’t angels, but they are heroes. Cut down in the prime of life, they gave it all. None of them awakened thinking it would be a good day to die. Instead, they simply performed their duty, a duty that led them into harm’s way. They fulfilled their sworn duty with the full measure of their lives; they gave it all so I might live in peace.
The pain is still there for the families and the buddies. Yes, my own pain is still there, too. In some sense, it is compounded by knowing that those families and friends bear the pain; I suppose this is a pastor’s calling–to grieve and to bear the grief of others.
If you don’t know someone who gave his life for this country, ask me. I’ll tell you about these honorable men. They were my friends.
In grateful memory of those men of my military flock who died fighting our nation’s enemies:
- Elias Elias
- Allen Jaynes
- Michael Balsley
- Alexander Fuller
- Jay Martin
- Alexander Funcheon
- Brian Botello
- Eric Snell
- Mikeal Miller
- Jason Fabrizi
- Tyler Parten
- Michael Scusa
- Christopher Griffin
- Stephan Mace
- Brian Pedro
- Nathan Carse
- Alexander Povilaitis
- Tristan Wade
Comfort their families and their brothers in arms.