Remember

By Susan Dunk Saturday November 11th is Remembrance Day for us here in Canada and for most of the commonwealth countries. (That’s right … we still have a sovereign, her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.) There is so much significance to this day and why it is called Remembrance Day. It used to be called “Armistice” after World War 1 and was recognized for the whole week. In Canada, the name was changed to Remembrance Day in 1930. I think it’s unfortunate the week was reduced to a day. We would do well to halt… Read More

Justification: One and Done.

When I was about 10, I went on a hike with a boys brigade. We were all racing down this path at lunchtime when I decided to beat everyone to the bottom by deviating from the path. I ran straight down the side of the hill and received an immediate, involuntary lesson in physics. My little legs couldn’t keep up with the momentum that was required to keep up and I ended up going down the hill Princess Bride “as you wiiiiiiiiish” style. The protestant reformation took place 500 years ago – October… Read More

Modern Reformation Anyone?

On October 31, 1517, Luther famously nailed his 95 theses to the door of the church in Wittenberg. Luther’s pen unleashed cultural ramifications that today’s bloggers could only dream of. He nailed his theses to the door, a few people read it, translated it from Latin into German and thanks to the technological wonder of a relatively new piece of technology called the Gutenberg Press – his 95 theses went 16th century viral. After 4 years of debate on justification by grace & faith alone, Luther was brought before the church assembly… Read More

John 1: a mic drop on grace

Our family loves going to the theatre. We love movies. You know that feeling when there’s a film you’ve been looking forward to for a while and it finally hits the theatres?  You’re sitting there and the moment the production house logo comes up accompanied by an epic score, you get this “here we go!” feeling. For me, the 20th century Fox score is a thing of legend. Probably because the first film I ever saw in theatres was Return of the Jedi when I was 10. John 1 reads like the… Read More

Exile, Homecoming & Grace

No doubt you are navigating many conversations around your dinner table regarding the refugee crisis in light of recent executive orders by Mr. Trump and the far reaching ramifications of those decisions. As I scroll through the headlines in my newsfeed, I find myself increasingly thankful that the gospel invites me to rest in a world that is at great unrest. If Christ’s life, death, resurrection and ascension are true, then the gospel offers us an eternal perspective that informs how we relate to the issues of the world around us. Christ has saved… Read More

Drunks on Horseback

According to Martin Luther, it is human nature is a little like a drunkard trying to ride a horse. When we fall off into a ditch on the left, we resolve not to make that mistake again, and so we remount with such force that we soon find ourselves in the ditch on the right. Historically speaking, the church has fallen off the gospel horse into the ditches of legalism and lawlessness. From the ditch of legalism, the Scriptures that tell us that our justification has nothing to do with anything we do, but rests solely on everything Christ… Read More

Open the Envelope

Imagine for a moment that a father dies and leaves an inheritance to his two children. The family member handling the estate gives them each a letter containing the cheques for their inheritance. The first child takes the envelope and puts it in their pocket without opening it. The second child opens it immediately. They are in utter shock as they look at amount written on the cheque. The two siblings hail a cab to go to the bank to claim their inheritance. They get stuck in an agonizing traffic jam. A… Read More

The Blessed Life

When Susan’s younger sister was a little girl, she wanted her parents to change her name to “Pookie”. Needless to say, as an adult she is very thankful her dad didn’t grant the request of her younger self. For most of my life, I’ve seen prayer as a tool or a means of getting things from God. Like Susan’s sister, I’ve prayed lots of Pookie prayers that, from my point of view, went unanswered. We can come to God in prayer with great confidence – but not for the reasons I once thought. I’m not confident… Read More

On Healing

This week I had the honour of officiating a funeral for one of our members who is now enjoying the presence of God in a way that I can’t fully comprehend and my words could never fully convey. When you attend a funeral, you find yourself confronted by deep, probing and perhaps uncomfortable questions. Depending on your belief system, thinking about your own mortality is either a very morbid or a very reassuring exercise. I’ve attended and officiated many funerals. Teenagers. Infants. Elderly people who lived full lives. Tragic accidents involving young adults. Or as in… Read More

Grace from A-Z

Susan and I were at a function a few months ago and introductions were happening around the table. Getting asked what I do for a living is always an interesting conversation starter. So when the question came to me, I told everyone I was a presbyterian minister and the guy sitting next to me got really excited. He said, “Oh good!” and then he proceeded to share, with refreshing honesty, his disgust and frustrations with the church. It was really interesting to hear his thoughts and the experiences he had that caused him to… Read More

Ruined.

I was in Ethiopia a few years back and I had the incredible privilege of preaching in some churches. After one of the services, I was asked if I wanted some coffee. I looked down and saw a small, badly stained pot and some tools I didn’t recognize, sitting next to a tiny fire. I agreed to have a cup, so one of the ladies went and picked some coffee beans off of one of the plants growing beside the church and began to roast them. Soon I was holding a small cup… Read More

The terrible search

This past week at the Golden Globes, Jim Carrey took to the stage to present the award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. Though his short, humorous speech got a lot of people laughing, I don’t doubt that the poignancy of his words also got a lot of people thinking… “I’m two time Golden Globe winner Jim Carrey …and when I dream, I don’t just dream any old dream. No sir. I dream about being three time Golden Globe winner, Jim Carrey … because then I would be enough. It would… Read More

Blurred

Written by Susan Dunk A few nights ago I was cozy in bed reading “The Story of God’s Love” by Sally Lloyd Jones (a stellar book) to my nine year old son. The story was Noah and the Ark. I was reading the story with my usual gusto when Nijel stopped me with tears in his eyes. He said, “Mommy, if God destroyed the whole earth with a flood that means He killed children.” I saw his distraught face and I panicked. My first thought was, “Where is your seminary trained father right… Read More

Identity & Reinvention

On Predestination

In one of our  TheoPub events, the question came up about predestination. What is it? Does God’s sovereignty erase man’s responsibility? Does man have free will? My aim in this article is not to attempt to comprehensively explain predestination because the apostles themselves never did. They did however, explicitly talk about it. My goal here is to look at the reasons why the apostles used words like “predestined for adoption” and “chosen” to show that they were meant to provoke the church into joyful celebration – not create nervous confusion. Given the… Read More