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Pain- the antithesis of pleasure?

By Dave Henning / November 30, 2012

Phillip Yancey, author of Where is God When It Hurts?, establishes the foundation of his book in the first 2 chapters by discussing the biological and physiological aspects of pain.  Of particular note is Phillip’s friendship with Dr. Paul Brand, who has received most of his recognition as a crusader for pain.  You see, Dr. […]

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Our pathway through suffering

By Dave Henning / November 30, 2012

In the Conclusion to Glorious Ruin, Pastor Tullian Tchividjian states that the Whys of suffering keep us in an abyss of abstraction where we reduce God to a finite ethical agent whose purposes are on a par with our own.  Sadly, this response to suffering is quite confining. How do we find a pathway through […]

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God’s “dreadful withdrawal”

By Dave Henning / November 29, 2012

Tullian Tchividjian discusses what the Puritans used to call “God’s dreadful withdrawal” in Chapter 8 (“Weighty Mercies”) of Glorious Ruin.  He notes that some Biblical commentators become exasperated with the book of Job because it seems to go on and on and on.  Yes, Pastor Tchividjian states, Job does go on and on and on, […]

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Crying “Uncle!”

By Dave Henning / November 28, 2012

In Chapter 7 (“The Gospel of Suffering”) of Glorious Ruin, Pastor Tullian Tchividjian quotes his friend Scotty Smith, who once said the “God will use the pain in our lives to make us cry uncle, so that we might cry Father.”  The author adds that as Christians we serve an unrelenting God who desires that […]

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Barriers to honesty

By Dave Henning / November 27, 2012

Pastor Tullian Tchividjian explains 4 barriers to honestly dealing with suffering in Chapter 2 of Glorious Ruin: 1.  We create a hierarchy of suffering which we then project onto God Himself.  While it might be admirable to keep our suffering in perspective, we cannot dictate to God what He should or should not care about.  […]

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Law vs. law

By Dave Henning / November 25, 2012

Tullian Tchividjian makes an important distinction between Law (capital L) and law (lower-case l) in Chapter 2 of Glorious Ruin.  “Law” comes from God and is found in the 10 Commandments as well as Jesus’ certification of the law expert’s response in Luke 10:27.  But “law” also plays out in many ways in our daily […]

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“Who” is in control

By Dave Henning / November 24, 2012

Tullian Tchividjian begins Chapter 2 (“Suffering is Serious”) of Glorious Ruin by relating a personal story of his attempt to win over a colleague at a former job.  Pastor Tchividjian took special care to learn that person’s interests and hobbies.  He spent extra time buying that colleague a Christmas gift.  Through these and other efforts, […]

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When intellect meets reality

By Dave Henning / November 23, 2012

In Chapter 1 (“Suffering is Inevitable”) of Glorious Ruin, Tullian Tchividjian tells of a harrowing time in the life of Nicholas Wolterstorff, a Christian who taught philosophical theology for many years at Yale University.  As a professor, he devoted his life to the intellectual understanding, meaning and reality of life’s mysteries.  But his attempts at […]

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Moralizing or minimizing suffering

By Dave Henning / November 22, 2012

In the Introduction to Glorious Ruin, Pastor Tullian Tchividjian discusses 2 ways we tend to respond to suffering, even when we know the source of our suffering. He states that moralists “interpret misfortune as the karmic result of misbehavior”.  In other words, you failed to obey God and He is punishing you.  This doesn’t mean, […]

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The Who amid our suffering

By Dave Henning / November 20, 2012

The author of Glorious Ruin, Tullian Tchividjian (pronounced cha-vi-jin) currently is the senior pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, succeeding the late D. James Kennedy, and the grandson of evangelist Billy Graham.  Glorious Ruin is loosely based on a series of sermons Pastor Tchividjian preached on the book of Job. In the Introduction, the author […]

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The loneliness of suffering

By Dave Henning / November 18, 2012

In his extended discussion of Abraham and Isaac on their journey to Mt. Moriah, author John Ortberg (The Life You’ve Always Wanted) notes that although Abraham and Isaac walked together to build a sacrificial altar, Abraham was very much alone.  Abraham and Isaac were separated by an unspeakable barrier, because Abraham was burdened by what […]

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Tenacious obedience

By Dave Henning / November 17, 2012

The concluding chapter of The Life You’ve Always Wanted is entitled “A Life of Endurance: The Experience of Suffering”.  In that chapter author John Ortberg compares our life journey to running a marathon.  Although the initial part of running a marathon is pleasurable, endurance soon takes a great deal of effort and becomes laborious- the […]

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