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Capacious Inclusion

I’ve got a question for the child in you before it leaves
Are you tough enough to be kind?
Do you know your heart has its own mind?
Darkness gathers around the light
Hold on, hold on — U2, 13 (There is a Light)

An Explanation of the Father and the Son through Parenting

As I talk to more and more Seventh-day Adventists lately, it has become increasingly apparent how deeply headship theology has infiltrated the church. Many fail to understand questions such as these:

“How can Christ be both God and human?”

“How can He be the same as the Father and yet say ‘your will be done’?”

“How can the Son not be beneath the Father if He is ‘sent’?”

Attention Deficit

“Men have no eyes but for those aspects of things which they have already been taught to discern.” —William James, Psychology

The Far Country

My mother was dead and my father consented — I withdrew my college fund and split. I was done with small town mentality and narrow-mindedness, tired of the prescribed life, proscriptions and rules that restricted my existence; I was on to better things. As Father wished me well and said he loved me, I flapped my wings and leaped from the nest, the known for the unknown, thrilling anticipation jetted me down the road, rebellion’s attraction exhilarating. Life is like that. In a blur I was gone.

Outrage and Longing

“The desire to surpass our limits is as essential to the structure of the human as the recognition that we cannot.” —Susan Neiman, Evil in Modern Thought

Oh Be Careful, Little Ears, What You Hear

My earliest church memory in Savannah, Georgia, features willowy Mrs. Boyle, with gray hair twirled in a loose bun, singing while pointing to her ears, eyes, and lips. An earnest child who wanted to be good, I took it to heart. In fact, when I was eight years old, I scotch-taped a scrawled note to the family television based on Paul’s words “whatsoever things are lovely, true.” My mother shared my gesture with the church secretary who then put the exact words of my little sign in the church newsletter.

Violence Like a Garment

For I was envious of the arrogant;
I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
For they have no pain;
their bodies are sound and sleek.
They are not in trouble as others are;
they are not plagued like other people.
Therefore, pride is their necklace;
violence covers them like a garment.

The Conscience of the State

Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from Pastor Charles Tapp’s sermon, delivered June 16, 2018 at Sligo Seventh-day Adventist Church in Takoma Park, Maryland. It is reprinted here with permission.

A (Very) Brief History of Silence

Emma González, one of the last of the student speakers at the March for Life in Washington, D.C., called out all 17 names of the students murdered in the Parkland shooting, and then fell silent. As she gazed out over the enormous throng on the Mall, the minutes ticked slowly by. At first, the crowd thought she had been overcome with emotion, but although tears trickled down her cheeks, she did not waver. Three minutes went by and some in the crowd raised a cheer to fill the silence. Four minutes, and by now we understood that she had a purpose in mind.

The Art of Reconciliation: Forgiving and Remembering Rightly

It was the end of May 2001. I hate remembering the exact date. My wife was expectant and any day the baby should have arrived. The joy of the first child, unfortunately, was eclipsed by a tragic and very traumatic experience. Providentially, a few days prior to the incident, I walked into the baby’s room and was imagining the white cover over the cradle as a cover of death. I was beginning to fear the worst. Like Abraham before the Mount Moriah event, I did not share this insight with my wife.

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