Saturday Sampler: January 1 — January 7

In his monthly article for The Vatican Files, Leonardo De Chirico reports on an Advent sermon that marks more theological decline in the Roman Catholic church. “God has many ways to save.” Cardinal Cantalamessa and Roman Catholic Universalisim doesn’t trouble me in terms of the Catholic church teaching error — it’s done that for many centuries. But I fear it will reinforce ecumenical compromises that have infected evangelicals in recent decades. For this reason, I hope you’ll make time to read it.

Philippians is known for Paul’s emphasis on joy. Using this epistle as a template, Pastor Tedd Mathis gives us 23 Reasons to Rejoice in 2023. If you feel depressed by the darkness of winter — not to mention the spiritual darkness that increases exponentially in our world — this blog post in teddmathisdotcom will lift your spirits and fill you with the joy of the Holy Spirit.

The Bible is Not About You explains Ryan Higginbottom in his piece for Knowable Word this week. He demonstrates the problem with applying a verse personally before understanding its proper interpretation. If I had learned this lesson 52 years ago, I might have avoided a lot of doctrinal error.

Michelle Lesley shares If you’d like to help… Update & Thanks for those who responded to her needs. I posted that article in Saturday Sampler at the time, asking you — my readers — to consider helping her family. I’m thrilled to share Michelle’s report, and I want to thank any of my readers who took part in ministering to them.

There’s a lot of talk lately about the Charismatic movement and the work of the Holy Spirit. It’s a necessary conversation, especially as more and more churches have embraced Continualist theology. Leslie A of Growing 4 Life devotes a blog post to a series of sermons her brother recently preached entitled How Does the Holy Spirit Work? I didn’t think I had time to listen to Pastor Dean’s sermons. Boy am I glad I made time! These sermons really take a deep dive into this topic. Please don’t cheat yourself out of some truly excellent teaching.

What Should You Do With Your Diagnosis? Responding Biblically to Mental Disorder Labels appears in The Cripplrgate. Written by Dan Crabtree, this article fairly assesses psychological conditions, acknowledging that sometimes physical factors actually do play a role in our psychological health. Yet he emphasizes that secular doctors and psychologists routinely ignore the spiritual component influencing our thoughts, feelings and behaviors. His outlook provides much needed encouragement to anyone who struggles with a diagnosis of mental disorder.

I could recommend Elizabeth Prata’s Someday the fog will be lifted in The End Time for its exquisite writing alone, and none of you would blame me! But even beyond her vivid descriptions, she reminds us of our ultimate hope as Christians. Don’t miss this one!

Elizabeth also writes an essay on a subject I care deeply about — single women. The Proverbs 31 woman is held as an example of married woman, but what if you’re not married? looks at Anna, the prophetess in Luke 2. Because Elizabeth herself is single, she can write on this matter with both authority and sensitivity. But she adds bonus material for those of us who are aging. I needed that encouragement since I’m only nine months away from turning [gulp!] 70.

Scott Slayton of One Dergree to Another shows us how Building a “Non-Brittle” Identity depends on preaching the Gospel to ourselves regularly. You won’t need much time to read his article, but its contents will certainly shift your attention to eternity.

As we enter 2023, let’s join Robb Brunanski in his Prayer for a new year: Love, which he writes for The Cripplrgate. Not only does he show the necessity of love in the context fthe local church (a point often overlooked in evangelical writing), but he draws a clear distinction between Biblical love and the world’s misunderstanding of love.

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