I was recently asked, “Why is the Bible difficult to understand?” In responding, I referenced the part in the Westminster Confession which explains that “not all things in Scripture are equally plain in themselves or equally clear to all,” while the things which are needed to be known, believed, and observed for salvation are clear and may be understood by all. Later on, as I thought about the question, it occurred to me that I might have answered, “So that I have a job!” It is an immense privilege to labor in preaching and teaching. On behalf of the fellow pastors, I say thank you to our congregations for their prayerful encouragement. Perhaps this should be a month of appreciation for pastors’ wives. They play a huge role in keeping us from the perils of conceit or despair.
My recent travels have included opportunities to address students at Cedarville University and Grove City College. If we are old when the police look young and university students look like high schoolers, then it is official: I am old. Both of these fine institutions are educating students from a biblical view of the world. They are preparing them in arts and sciences to engage with a culture that calls good evil and evil good. They are helping to answer this question: What does it look like to live as a Christian in a society that does not like what Christians believe? Francis Schaeffer’s question from 1976, “How then shall we live?” needs to be tackled by the church in every age. Paul’s encouragement to Timothy rings true: “You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 2:1).
Last week I was privileged to stand with my friend Tim Challies at the launch of his book Seasons of Sorrow, which offers honest insight regarding severe loss and a stirring testimony to the Lord’s faithfulness. Although our culture is squeamish about death, as Christians, we can speak of the One who conquered death, because in Jesus death is swallowed up in victory.
So let’s thank God for those who watch over our souls. Let’s pray for and encourage our students to be brave by faith. And let’s get alongside our friends in loss and “help them up.”
With my love in the Lord Jesus,
Topics: Letters From Alistair Begg