Archive for June 2010

On marriage

June 18th, 2010 — 8:11am

“This is . . . the glory and honor of man as king of creation: ‘Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth, and subdue and have dominion . . .’ (Gn. 1:25). Each family is indeed a kingdom, a little church, and therefore . . . a way to the Kingdom. Somewhere, even if it is only in a single room, every man at some point in his life has his own small kingdom. It may be hell, and a place of betrayal, or it may not. Behind each window there is a little world going on. How evident this becomes when one is riding on a train at night and passing innumerable lighted windows: behind each one of them the fullness of life is a ‘given possibility,’ a promise, a vision. This is what [marriage ceremonies] express: that here is the beginning of a small kingdom which can be something like the true Kingdom. The chance will be lost, perhaps even in one night; but at this moment it is still an open possibility. Yet even when it has been lost, and lost again a thousand times, still if two people stay together, they are in a real sense king and queen to each other. And after forty odd years, Adam can still turn and see Eve standing beside him, in a unity with himself which in some small way at least proclaims the love of God’s Kingdom. In movies and magazines the ‘icon’ of marriage is always a youthful couple. But once, in the light and warmth of an autumn afternoon, this writer saw on the bench of a public square, in a poor Parisian suburb, an old and poor couple. They were sitting hand in hand, in silence, enjoying the pale light, the last warmth of the season. In silence: all words had been said, all passion exhausted, all storms at peace. The whole life was behind – yet all of it was now present, in this silence, in this light, in this warmth, in this silent unity of hands. Present – and ready for eternity, ripe for joy. This to me remains the vision of marriage, of its heavenly beauty.” (Alexander Schmemann, For the Life of the World)

Comment » | Hearth and Home

High peaks

June 17th, 2010 — 1:22pm

There are six books of the Bible that I fear to preach because they are so programmatic. In order, they are Genesis (which lays the foundations for all of scripture), Deuteronomy (which sets forth the agenda for the Mosaic economy and the rest of the Old Testament), Isaiah (a syllabus of the prophets’ messianic vision), Romans (the bedrock of apostolic theology), Hebrews (the fullest exposition of the transition from Old Covenant to New), and Revelation (which tells the church how to think about everything to come). These are interpretive hubs, in my mind, around which our understanding of everything else in scripture must turn.

Comment » | Pastoral Pondering

The Pauline eschatology

June 17th, 2010 — 10:43am

In 1929, The Princeton Theological Review published an essay by Geerhardus Vos entitled, “The Structure of the Pauline Eschatology” (available here). One can hardly overstate the importance and influence of this essay, the central insight of which was that while Jewish and Old Testament eschatology were organized on a “scheme of successiveness” (one age of history being followed by another, the messianic age), by a “gradual transition” a new eschatological structure emerged in the apostolic writings (notably those of Paul). On one hand, the venerable scheme of two ages continued, only now the age of Messiah “unfolded itself into two successive epochs.” That is, the Old Testament expectations regarding the age of Messiah had (in light of what actually happened when Jesus came) to be understood as unfolding in two stages: one present, another still to come. In Vos’ own words:

“The scheme of successiveness had not been entirely abrogated but simply been reapplied to the latter half of the original scheme: the age to come [described in the Old Testament] was perceived to bear in its womb another age to come, so that with reference to the mother and the as yet unborn child, as it were, the category of what is and what is to be not only could, but had to be retained.”

But this apostolic revision of the ancient scheme of successiveness did not end the matter. Also a truly new element – and a deeply complicating one – emerged in Paul’s eschatological structure. For him, eschatology was not simply a matter of two ages, one following upon another. It was as well a matter of two worlds, or two states, which may (unlike successive ages) exist side by side, so that it is possible for a person to belong to both at once (though, as Vos says, “preeminently to one rather than to the other”). In Christ, it is not simply that believers have entered into the future age; perhaps even more importantly, they have entered the higher world. The focus for Paul is as much “spatial” as “temporal”: we are now in the world of heaven above, and it is around this fact that Paul’s eschatology is organized. Vos once again:

“What was logically impossible [the contemporaneous existence of two successive ages] became practically unavoidable through the shifting of the center of gravity from the lower to the higher sphere, as brought about by the removal of the Messiah to the higher world and his abiding there in permanence.”

It is in this way, says Vos, that the realities of the future age can be already present – because the new world is “above” (heavenly), it can intrude in all sorts of ways into the present age, while as a historical-chronological matter it remains future, following Messiah’s second coming. (Readers should look at page 440 in the PTR article reference above, to see how Vos diagrams this.)

Believers, then, are “in principle” in heaven; their citizenship is presently in the world above, for Christ is in heaven and they are “in Christ.” Precisely because this is the case, they yearn eagerly for the “second stage” of the age of Messiah, when He returns to consummate the new heavens and the new earth. They are fixed upon that which is historically future, because they are located presently in the world above, where Christ sits at the right hand of God.

That Vos has provided us with valuable, even brilliant, insights into the structure of the Pauline eschatology is beyond question. Every serious student of scripture should wrestle with and digest his essay. There remain however, some troubling questions, and it is clear from the way Vos ends his essay that he himself felt some of these. Two in particular stand out: (1) Is there a danger here of devaluing the “lower” world as God’s good creation, as His designed habitat for mankind, and as the theater of His redemptive work? (2) Is there a danger here of devaluing the “present stage” of Messiah’s reign, in that most of the content of the Old Testament messianic “visions” must be deferred to the “second stage,” after He returns (e.g., kings and nations paying homage to Him)?

If Vos were still alive to ask, he might well respond, “If I have correctly interpreted the apostolic writings, you will have to take up these questions with the apostles themselves”! The real issue is what the apostles said, however much it might perplex us. I would like to explore in another post whether other data in the apostolic writings might qualify Vos’ proposed structure, but it is only fair to point out, first, that he himself saw no dualism in his interpretation of Paul:

“Notwithstanding a certain formal resemblance in the two-sidedness of the Christian life [in heaven, upon earth], it stands at a far remove from Greek philosophical dualism. Its very genesis forbids identification with this even to the slightest degree. It mother-soil lies in eschatological revelation, not in metaphysical speculation.”

As to whether his interpretation leaves Paul without a very robust set of expectations regarding the present transforming effects of the gospel in nations, cultures, and institutions – i.e., whether he has Paul’s hope so rigorously fixed upon the future parousia that we are left to wonder about other, more this-worldly concerns articulated by the apostle – Vos offers this cryptic conclusion:

“What is usually charged against the age of Constantine and the rise of Protestantism would actually have its root in a Pauline Hellenizing speculation, which under the guise of directing to heaven would have in its actual effect meant a worldly recurrence from the future upon the present. There is nothing of this in the Apostle’s intent: the Christian has only his members upon earth, which are to be mortified; himself, and as a whole, he belongs to the high mountain-land above, Col. iii. 5.”

I generally despise this kind of psychologizing, but one muses whether Vos’ disparagement here of certain this-worldly projects in historical Christendom might have arisen from reaction to the rise of liberalism in North American Presbyterianism. It is worth noting that the “Presbyterian Conflict” reached a fever pitch at Princeton in the very year Vos published this essay.

Comment » | Eschatological Prospects

Eye of the beholder

June 15th, 2010 — 3:40pm

Blogging has taught me afresh the difficulty of carrying deep water in a shallow vessel. So many subjects I want to write on simply resist being treated in such a forum. In their profundity, with their long history and various ramifications and implications, they defy the impertinence of a few paragraphs’ disposal. I have to resist the urge to start nearly every post with a caveat, “Now, I’m fumbling my way along the edges of something again. . . .”

Take aesthetics, for example. I’ve heard it argued, even by Christians, that there can be no such thing as objective beauty. I don’t accept this denial of objectivity, because it seems to leave the verdict regarding what is beautiful entirely in human hands; and while that might be appropriate in the sphere of human things (which I’m not quite ready to concede), it is surely wrong when it comes to our beholding the divine glory. God says to us, “Behold My glory,” and we have no right to tell Him we don’t happen to regard His beauty as . . . well, beautiful. If it’s all in the eye of the beholder, then God can’t tell us His beauty is objectively beautiful – which is about like saying He can’t tell us His truth is objectively true, or His righteousness objectively right.

But if there must (in my view) be some place for objective beauty, there’s a ditch across the road as well: the objectifying of beauty. As a father of two daughters, living beside the fashion capitol of the universe, this is of more than academic interest to me. What’s a fellow to do if his daughter asks him, “Daddy, am I pretty?” One can’t just respond, “Well, dear, it’s all relative,” or, “I think you’re beautiful, so you are.” If she’s sharp, she will probably respond, “Okay, then I’m going to stop cutting my fingernails, brushing my hair, and using makeup. Oh, and forget the braces.” We know there are certain things one can do to make oneself more beautiful, more aesthetically and visually pleasing, and this assumes some rough standard beyond oneself. It’s not wrong, strictly speaking, to say one person is rather plain and another person strikingly lovely. There are noses that are a bit comical, and eyes that can make one swoon; and some guys (not me, for example) have enviable hair. But then you trace this out a bit, and you land where our culture has arrived today: teaching its girls that real beauty is airbrushed, with a certain bra size and a blemish-free complexion. If you aren’t hot like all that, you’d better find some other way to get attention.

Set aside, if possible, how this kind of objectification has led to the commodifying of “beauty”; ignore the horrible fact that, having objectified “beauty,” we can now buy it and sell it like any other object on the market. I want to question the objectifying itself: Who says that “that” over there is the standard of beauty (male, female, or otherwise)? Who speaks with such authority?

As people of God, must we not say at some level that a thing is good and beautiful just because it is created? And does this not, in turn, require us to affirm a fantastic diversity within the field of beauty? I happen to like certain physical features, and I think they’re objectively beautiful on the ground that God put them there. Someone else may think other features equally beautiful; and he or she is on no less solid, objective ground, because God made those features, too! But we must go further. Cultural images of beauty are dominated by the physical; the biblical image of beauty is fundamentally personal – which is to say, there is a whole lot more depth and variety to beauty than can be exhausted in the human body. A person is truly beautiful as a person: the radiance of his or her soul (the character, the heart, the animus within) is joined to a particular body in which that inner life finds adornment and expression. This is why we have all looked at an old man and thought him exquisitely handsome; why we have all looked at a pretty young face and thought it hard, even ugly; and why no amount of makeup can ever make a corpse a thing of beauty. (It is also why no amount of pornographic images has ever satisfied a heart’s yearning for beauty.)

There’s truth in the old line, “God made you, and He don’t make no trash.” Perhaps we need our imaginations broadened to delight in more of His creativity. We certainly need our definition of beauty expanded beyond the soulless images of our culture. So, little girl, God made only one of you; and in all that you are – in all that He made you – you are truly beautiful.

Comment » | Trinitarian Reflections

Morning prayer

June 13th, 2010 — 6:15am

“O Lord God, holy and unsearchable, who didst command the light to shine forth from the darkness; who hast refreshed us by the slumber of the night, and hast raised us up to glorify and supplicate thy goodness: Being implored of thine own tender loving-kindness, accept us also now who bow down in adoration before thee, and render thanks unto thee according to the measure of our strength; and grant us all our petitions which are unto salvation. Make us children of the light, and of the day, and heirs of thine everlasting good things. Call to remembrance, O Lord, in the multitude of thy bounties, all thy people here present with us who make their supplications unto thee, and all our brethren on land, on the sea, and in every place of thy dominion, who are in need of thy loving-kindness and of thy succour, and vouchsafe unto them all thy great mercy, that being always preserved in safety of soul and body, we may with boldness magnify thy wondrous and blessed Name, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now, and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

“For thou art the God of bounties and of loving-kindness, and unto thee we ascribe glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now, and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.”

(Service Book of the Holy Orthodox-Catholic Apostolic Church, ed. Isabel Florence Hapgood)

Comment » | Grace and Life

Piety and personality

June 13th, 2010 — 6:11am

“If the Church is truly the ‘newness of life’ – the world and nature as restored in Christ – it is not, or rather ought not be, a purely religious institution in which to be ‘pious,’ to be a member in ‘good standing,’ means leaving one’s own personality at the entrance – in the ‘check room’ – and replacing it with a worn-out, impersonal, neutral ‘good Christian’ type personality. Piety in fact may be a very dangerous thing, a real opposition to the Holy Spirit who is the Giver of Life – of joy, movement and creativity – and not of the ‘good conscience’ which looks at everything with suspicion, fear and moral indignation.” (Alexander Schmemann, For the Life of the World)

Comment » | Grace and Life

Morning prayer

June 6th, 2010 — 7:13am

“In the night season our soul awaketh early unto thee, O God, for thy precepts are light. Teach us thy righteousness, they commandments and thy statutes, O God. Enlighten the eyes of our understanding, lest at any time we sleep unto death in sins. Dispel all darkness from our hearts. Graciously give unto us the Sun of Righteousness, and preserve our life unassailed, by the seal of thy Holy Spirit. Guide our steps into the way of peace. Grant us to behold the dawn and the day with joy, that we may raise our morning prayers unto thee.

“For thine is the dominion, and thine are the majesty and the power and the glory, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now, and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.”

(Service Book of the Holy Orthodox-Catholic Apostolic Church, ed. Isabel Florence Hapgood)

Comment » | Grace and Life

A given self

June 5th, 2010 — 2:38pm

I recently listened to a sermon by Dr. Tim Keller in which he said the reason for the frenetic pace of life and general exhaustion among urban dwellers is that they have come to the city in order to find themselves. It is different for the people of God, he said (preaching from Jeremiah 29:1–14). We come to the cities of the world having already been given a self in the gospel; so our labors in a city are those of loving service, not the exhausting pursuit of self-discovery and self-promotion.

I appreciate that Keller’s comments were focused on urban missions, but I want to draw attention briefly to his more general insight regarding a given identity. Readers of this blog know that I am passionately interested in the rising generation of Christ’s church (not least because I am a father of four), and I can think of no more basic problem among the youth of today’s Christendom than their nearly wholesale lack of functional Christian identity. This shows up in a myriad ways: they have no problem “yoking up” with unbelievers; they cannot live without the latest status symbol; their lives are every bit as dominated by consumerism as their pagan peers; they have little or no interest in deep relationships with prior generations of the church (witness their conversation and reading habits) or in preparing themselves to rear the generation to come; they neither understand nor enjoy the Christian scriptures; their Facebook pages are indistinguishable from those of teens who make no pretense of worshiping Christ; and so on and so on.

The reason for all of this is that, at a functional level, our youth have no clear sense of who their God has declared them to be, and thus no compelling interest in becoming who they actually are. (Now there is a pronoun pileup for you!) They lack a functional Christian identity.

But we cannot stop there. Say the word “identity” in the modern context, and immediately we all start thinking in individual terms: the issue of my “identity” addresses who I am. But is this really so? Is it not the case, rather, that my identity is entirely situated, so that I cannot know who I am without knowing where I am located (in space and in time), to whom I stand related, and what is the fundamental vision of life in which I (and my relations) are operating (call it a worldview, or a Weltanschauung)? Let me quote from Charles Taylor:

“The question [of identity] is often spontaneously phrased by people in the form: Who am I? But this can’t necessarily be answered by giving name and genealogy. What does answer this question for us is an understanding of what is of crucial importance to us. To know who I am is a species of knowing where I stand. My identity is defined by the commitments and identifications which provide the frame or horizon within which I can try to determine from case to case what is good, or valuable, or what ought to be done, or what I endorse or oppose. In other words, it is the horizon within which I am capable of taking a stand.” (Taylor, Sources of the Self: The Making of Modern Identity, p. 27)

Taylor later speaks of “a frame or horizon within which things can take on a stable significance, within which some life possibilities can be seen as good or meaningful, others as bad or trivial.”

And this, in turn, begins to sound a bit like the way the Christian scriptures address identity. In the Bible, we learn that every human life is fundamentally defined by a relationship either with the first Adam or with the Last Adam (Christ Jesus). Every human being is either “in Adam” or “in Christ.” Every human stands in a relationship with the Creator-God that is defined either by Adam’s sin, curse, and death, or by Christ’s righteousness, blessing, and life. To use a metaphor coined by a friend of mine, these are two different “operating systems” in which every one of the various “programs” of human life functions (eating, drinking, education, sexuality, etc.); or to use Ridderbos’ phrase, they are two different “modes of existence”; so that two people may be doing the exact same thing (eating a salad, for instance) and yet be doing so within two totally different life-situations or contexts. One is eating as a righteous, forgiven, beloved child of God; the other is eating as a condemned enemy of God for whom the creature (the salad, in this case) is the “be all and end all.” They are worlds apart, these two people, while eating the same salad.

Once I know where I am situated – who my God is and how I am related to Him, who my people are and how I am related them, and what is the overarching story (or metanarrative) in which my tiny individual story is being written in this time and space – I can begin to figure out how to live.

Perhaps another metaphor may help us here. Biblically conceived, my life is not a story that I am making up as I go. My life is, rather, situated from the moment of my conception in the kingdom story God Himself is writing. Or to change the image slightly, I am given from conception a play script (theologians refer to it as the “covenant”) in which I am assigned a particular role (I have a unique spot in the dramatis personae); and I am to “put on” my costume and play that role by the script. I am told that, as a member of the covenant, I am “in Christ”; and I am to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ” and make no provision for the old Adamic life (Rom 13:14). I am to “put off” all of the practices that naturally belonged to the “old self,” for the old self was itself put off when God placed me in His covenant and kingdom (Col 3:9–10). I am to “put on” all of the practices of the “new self” God has given me in His Son. Practice, practice, practice. And eventually, the role no longer feels unnatural; I have become what God has told me I am.

At the risk of being insufferably tedious, let me quote something I once wrote in another context (trying to relate all of this to the subject of Christian wisdom):

“Here perhaps is the genius of true wisdom. If it is the blight of folly (too often characteristic of youth) to be entirely absorbed with the self, and more narrowly still, in the present moment of the self, it is wisdom’s genius to view the self, and especially the moment, as a small and slightly significant part of a large and grandly significant whole. For the wise, every moment of the self stands ‘within’ a larger moment that itself stands within a grander series of moments – what we call a ‘history.’ Put another way, for the wise, each self-moment is part of a community-moment, which in turn is part of a historical movement (or better, a number of historical movements); and only as such does the self-moment retain significance.

“It is but a slight step from this to the idea that wisdom is inextricably grounded in narrative. The absence of a well-formed sense of narrative and a well-formed sense of identity in a community defined by a particular narrative, will usually explain the pervasive foolishness of youth. What is particularly frightening about this absence in the modern context is that modernity has, for many generations, self-consciously rebelled against the ancient narratives that once defined all human community. In bygone centuries, there existed religious narratives, or at least tribal and national narratives, that defined and shaped human community, and in which young ones were schooled. Now the religious narratives are simply ‘myths’; now the tribe is a ‘neighborhood’ in which all are functionally strangers, and the nationhood of nations is rapidly washing away into the global sea. Now the best one can hope for is a ‘Facebook community’ a year or two old, or perhaps a ‘reading community’ loosely built around the latest Twilight novel.

“The Christian scriptures are violently subversive of our modern foolishness. To us they present the grandest of narratives: the story of the kingdom of God stretching back to Eden, the story of God’s covenant community stretching back through Abraham to the creation-kingdom, and past that to the inner life of the Triune Creator. The surest way for us to impart wisdom to the youth of Christendom is to brand this story on their consciousness, resulting in what the Apostle Paul called sophrosune – sobermindedness. The ‘sober’ soul is aware; he has his wits about him; he is able to pull his head out of the present moment, to look about and orient himself to the larger community and story of which he is a part. He lives out of the wisdom and insight lavished upon God’s covenant people in Christ, a wisdom in which God has made known to us ‘the mystery of His will, according to His purpose which He set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in Him, things in heaven and things on earth’ (Eph 1:8–10).”

I would love to go on to talk about how this concretely affects absolutely everything in daily life. There’s nothing impractical or abstract about it. Every day we are enacting a narrative of the self (an “identity” that rules in our hearts); we have only to become self-conscious about this, and we will see how it affects everything. But I have run on far too long, and must wait for another time.

Comment » | Gospel and Kingdom

Little ones who believe

June 4th, 2010 — 1:41pm

On the question of whether children in the covenant community must be regarded as believers, our Reformed forefathers have given some interesting answers. I offer a few of those here, for our reflection.

John Calvin responded thus to the Anabaptists’ argument that infants are incapable of faith:

“But since they think that it would be quite absurd for any knowledge of God to be attributed to infants, to whom Moses denies the knowledge of good and evil, let them only tell me, I ask, what the danger is if infants be said to receive now some part of that grace which in a little while they shall enjoy to the full? For if fullness of life consists in the perfect knowledge of God, when some of them, whom death snatches away in their very first infancy, pass over into eternal life, they are surely received to the contemplation of God in his very presence. Therefore, if it please him, why may the Lord not shine with a tiny spark at the present time on those whom he will illumine in the future with the full splendor of his light – especially if he has not removed their ignorance before taking them from the prison of the flesh? I would not rashly affirm that they are endowed with the same faith as we experience in ourselves, or have entirely the same knowledge of faith – this I prefer to leave undetermined – but I would somewhat restrain the obtuse arrogance of those who at the top of their lungs confidently deny or assert whatever they please.” (Calvin, Institutes, 4.16.19)

Perhaps even more telling is another passage that follows:

“Since God communicated circumcision to infants as a sacrament of repentance and of faith, it does not seem absurd if they are now made participants in baptism – unless men choose to rage openly at God’s institution. But as in all God’s acts, so in this very act also there shines enough wisdom and righteousness to repel the detractions of the impious. For although infants, at the very moment they were circumcised, did not comprehend with their understanding what that sign meant, they were truly circumcised to the mortification of their corrupt and defiled nature, a mortification that they would afterward practice in mature years. To sum up, this objection can be solved without difficulty: infants are baptized into future repentance and faith, and even though these have not yet been formed in them, the seed of both lies hidden within them by the secret working of the Spirit.” (Institutes, 4.16.20, emphasis added)

It is fairly standard in Reformed circles to affirm (as Calvin does here) that it is possible for God to work faith in infants; but should we regard all infants in the covenant as possessing the “seed” of repentance and faith? The Westminster Larger Catechism offers a strongly positive answer to this question when it says baptism is “a sign and seal of our regeneration and ingrafting into Christ, and that even to infants” (Question 177, emphasis added). If baptism seals regeneration (the seed of faith and repentance) to infants, they ought to be regarded (like adult professors) as regenerate, having the seed (at least) of faith and repentance. And this way of viewing the infants in God’s flock has solid support elsewhere. Zacharias Ursinus, for example, one of the co-authors of the Heidelberg Catechism, speaks as follows:

“This is sure and certain, that God instituted his sacraments and covenant seals only for those who recognize and maintain the church as already made up of parties of the covenant, and that it is not His intention to make them Christians by the sacraments first, but rather to make those who are already Christians to be Christians more and more and to confirm the work begun in them. . . . Hence, if anyone considers the children of Christians to be pagans and non-Christians, and damns all those infants who cannot come to be baptized, let him take care on what ground he does so, because Paul calls them holy (1 Cor. 7), and God says to all believers in the person of Abraham that He will be their God and the God of their seed. . . . Next let him consider how he will permit them to be baptized with a good conscience, for knowingly to baptize a pagan and unbeliever is an open abuse and desecration of baptism. Our continual answer to the Anabaptists, when they appeal to the lack of faith in infants against infant baptism, is that the Holy Spirit works regeneration and the inclination to faith and obedience to God in them in a manner appropriate to their age, always with it understood that we leave the free mercy and heavenly election unbound and unpenetrated.” (Quoted in Geerhardus Vos, “The Doctrine of the Covenant in Reformed Theology,” in Redemptive History and Biblical Interpretation: The Shorter Writings of Geerhardus Vos, ed. Richard B. Gaffin, Jr., pp. 264–65)

Centuries later, we find the same conclusion reached by a different path by Herman Bavinck:

“We can no more judge the hearts of senior members of the church than we can the hearts of infants. The only possibility left for us who are bound to externals is a judgment of charity. According to that judgment, we consider those who make profession of faith to be believers and give them access to the sacraments. By that same judgment we count the children of believers as themselves believers because they are included with their parents in the covenant of grace. The likelihood that the baptized are true believers is even greater in the case of children than adults.” (Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics, pp. 4.530–31, emphasis added)

Bavinck emphasizes the objective covenant promise of God to children rather than the subjective “seed” of faith within them, but the conclusion is the same – they are to be regarded precisely as we regard adult professors: as regenerate, repentant, believing disciples of the covenant Lord. It is not our place to call their faith into question, but rather to nurture it.

Comment » | Life in Front of the Curtain

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