In This Issue:
From the Director
A Hard Waiting for the Lord
"Henry was dying of throat cancer. He knew it; his wife, Joan, knew it; their two grown children knew it; and the doctors knew it. But he wasn't dying quickly, and it wasn't painless. It was a slow, agonizing, painful dying. . . . Everyone wanted the pain to stop, even if it meant Henry's death."
What should a Christian's attitude be in such a situation? If Henry is headed for a better place after death, wouldn't a quick end to his life be better all around? May Christians pray for death? Is assisted suicide acceptable? Calvin Van Reken addresses these questions in a thought-provoking article for the Calvin Seminary Forum.
What are your thoughts? Discuss them here.
What's NewChristian Digital Libraries for the World
Marten Visser, a missionary from The Netherlands serving in Thailand as a church planter, noticed that church leaders had extremely limited access to Christian resources, so he started collecting resources to put online. This grew into a web library. Since then his group has worked on a Vietnamese library, and they are working on a Laotian one. Now they are offering their expertise to others, helping clients produce digital libraries in many different languages at www.biblionics.com. If you know of a group interested in creating a Christian digital library in any language, check it out.
What's NewHymn as Literature
by Jeremiah Bascom Reeves
It is remarkable that English literary criticism has given so little attention to a form of literature that holds so large a place in the attention of the people as does the hymn. For the hymn is the most popular kind of English poetry. If this appear to be an immoderate statement, let the objector find and bring forward another type of poetry that is read so frequently by so many people and, at least apparently, with so much approval. If one should count the number of persons in any English-speaking town who had read epic poetry during the last week, or who had read dramatic poetry, or, excepting one book, who had read fifty lines of lyrical poetry, he would find the number relatively quite small. But last week in a small American city there were thirty-seven hundred persons who read or went over at least three hymns. That there were three times thirty-seven hundred readings of lyrical poetry by the people of a typical small community in the ordinary course of its affairs in one 4 week is a fact of real significance to the student of American life and literature.
Read this classic at the CCEL
Featured HymnO Jesus, Joy of Loving Hearts
translated by Ray Palmer
This pious, evangelical hymn expresses a yearning for the feeding¬-by-faith symbolized in the Lord's Supper. Christ is the focal point as "the fount of life" (st. 1) and the Light of the World (st. 1, 4). The original source of this devotional hymn is the Latin poem “Jesu, dulcis memoria” from the late twelfth century. The evangelical fervor of the Latin text has caused some hymnodists to attribute the poem to Bernard of Clairveaux, but without sufficient proof. Ray Palmer freely translated selected stanzas (4, 3, 20, 28, 10) from the poem. These were published in the Sabbath Hymn Book (1858), beginning with the words “Jesus, thou joy of loving hearts.
Featured ClassicHomilies on the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistle to the Romans
by John Chrysostom (c. 347-407)
As I keep hearing the Epistles of the blessed Paul read, and that twice every week, and often three or four times, whenever we are celebrating the memorials of the holy martyrs, gladly do I enjoy the spiritual trumpet, and get roused and warmed with desire at recognizing the voice so dear to me, and seem to fancy him all but present to my sight, and behold him conversing with me. But I grieve and am pained, that all people do not know this man, as much as they ought to know him; but some are so far ignorant of him, as not even to know for certainty the number of his Epistles. ... [T]his blessed Apostle said to the Philippians; 'Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart, both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the Gospel.' (Phil. i. 7.) And so ye also, if ye be willing to apply to the reading of him with a ready mind, will need no other aid.
Read this classic at the CCEL
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