Monthly Archives: December 2012





Trevin Wax|3:27 am CT

Gospel Definitions: Lesslie Newbigin

“We know that sin and suffering belong together, not as an accident, but by a necessary connection. They ought to belong together - and that is another way of saying that God punishes sin. That is not an Old Testament doctrine abrogated by the gospel. It is taught by Jesus in the Gospels with an absoluteness that is nowhere exceeded in the Old Testament.

“But it is just because we know and cannot escape from that fundamental certainty, that the cross is what it is to us, the demonstration that the God against whom we have sinned and who rightly punishes sin, Himself drinks to the very dregs, deeper than even the foulest sinner has to drink, the cup of punishment.

“The paradox reaches its climax when He whom we know as the Word made flesh cries out ‘My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ God bereft of God that He might save those who have sinned against God.

“I know it is sheer paradox, but I firmly believe that the heart of the gospel is there, and that if you remove one side of the paradox, and say that in the cross belief in divine punishment was shown to be an error, I think you both undercut all real moral experience and also take the power out of the cross itself.”

Signs Amid the Rubble: The Purposes of God in Human History, 43.

“[By the word 'gospel'] we don’t mean Christianity. We’re not talking about religious experience. We’re talking about a factual statement.

“Namely, that at a certain point in history, the history of this world, God who is the author, the sustainer, the goal of all that exists, of all being and all meaning and all truth, has become present in our human history as the man Jesus, whom we can know and whom we can love and serve; and that by His incarnation, His ministry, His death and resurrection, He has finally broken the powers that oppress us and has created a space and a time in which we who are unholy can nevertheless live in fellowship with God who is holy.”

Signs Amid the Rubble: The Purposes of God in Human History, 113.

(Check out the ongoing series entitled “Gospel Definitions” - the largest grouping of gospel definitions on the internet today.)





Trevin Wax|2:51 am CT

Worth a Look 12.31.12

Kindle Deal of the Day: The Vow: The True Events that Inspired the Movie by Kim & Krickett Carpenter. $2.99.

Life as Kim and Krickitt Carpenter knew it was shattered beyond recognition on November 24, 1993. Two months after their marriage, a devastating car wreck left Krickitt with a massive head injury and in a coma for weeks. When she finally awoke, she had no idea who Kim was. With no recollection of their relationship and while Krickitt experienced personality changes common to those who suffer head injuries, Kim realized the woman he had married essentially died in the accident.

And yet, against all odds, but through the common faith in Christ that sustained them, Kim and Krickitt fell in love all over again. Even though Kim stood by Krickitt through the darkest times a husband can ever imagine, he insists, “I’m no hero. I made a vow.”

Dying Regrets and New Year Reflections:

Earlier this year, The Guardian reported about Bonnie Ware, a palliative nurse, who had spent 12 years documenting the last words and dying regrets of those under her care (which eventually resulted in a book). Ware said that people at the end of their lives have “phenomenal clarity of vision,” and therefore we should consider what we might learn from their wisdom.

Ware listed the top 5 regrets (most commonly mentioned) of those on their deathbed. At the end of each regret listed by Bonnie Ware, I share a prayerful reflection about this upcoming New Year.

Almost all of the reviews I’ve seen of the Les Miserables movie have been glowing. LaVonne Neff’s contrarian take on the musical is worth reading. Here are my two favorite lines:

At one point I whispered to David, “There are only two things I don’t like about this opera: the words and the music.”

Despite his repeated willingness – if inability – to die for others, Valjean (like his creator, Hugo) supports an armed band of young insurrectionists who hope to overthrow the government. If you believe that peace is created by angry men who shoot the people with whom they disagree, you will find no inconsistency in this aspect of the story.

Christianity Today announces their 2013 Book Awards:

From an initial crop of 455 titles submitted by 68 publishers, we’ve selected 10 winners, and 9 notables, that offer insights into the people, events, and ideas that shape evangelical life, thought, and mission. Here they are, along with comments from the judges.

Speaking of Christianity Today, here’s the backstory on why C.S. Lewis didn’t write for the magazine:

“I wish your project heartily well,” wrote C.S. Lewis to Christianity Today, ”but can’t write you articles.” Carl F.H. Henry, founding editor of the magazine, had invited Lewis in 1955 to contribute to the magazine’s first issue. Lewis declined. Henry, was not, as the saying goes, “A day late and a dollar short.” He was over a decade late, and no dollar amount would have mattered as Lewis gave the lion’s share of his royalties to charity.





Trevin Wax|3:52 am CT

Make Me a Fork

Father, make of me a crisis man.

Bring those I contact to decision.

Let me not be a mile post on a single road;
make me a fork,
that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.

- Jim Elliot

- Through Gates of Splendor59.





Trevin Wax|3:21 am CT

My 10 Favorite Quotes from Les Misérables

I am looking forward to seeing Les Miserables this weekend. For years, I’ve enjoyed the music. But even better than the musical is Victor Hugo’s masterpiece. No movie or musical can do justice to the beauty of the book.

I recommend Julie Rose’s translation of Les Miserables. I read the more common English translation a few years ago and enjoyed it (the story is a classic, after all), but Rose’s translation is like going from a black-and-white television to color. Here are my ten favorite quotes from the book:

“He did not study God, he was dazzled by Him.” (48)

“Indigestion was invented by God to force morality on stomachs.” (115)

On the virtuous: “Their lives have a sequel.” (153)

“Good thoughts have their bottomless pits just as bad ones do.” (365)

“Joy is the backward surge of terror.” (463)

“All the crimes of the man begin in the straying of the child.” (482)

“Many great deeds are performed in the small struggles of life.” (560)

“The peculiarity of the sun rising is to make us laugh at all our terrors of the night, and the laugh we have is always in proportion to the fear we have had.” (765)

“To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable spelled out sparkles.” (810)

“The mind expands when you are close to the grave; to be close to death makes you see things as they really are.” (924)

“Dying is nothing; what’s terrible is not to live.” (1490)

(See firstsecondthirdfourthfifth, sixth, and seventh posts with quotes from Les Miserables.)









Trevin Wax|2:48 am CT

Trevin’s Seven

Kindle Deal of the Day: Read the Bible for Life: Your Guide to Understanding and Living God’s Word by George Guthrie. $2.99.

From my review for Christianity Today: For many believers, the Bible itself appears intimidating, not to mention the hefty, seminary-level hermeneutics books teaching people how to read it. Union University professor George Guthrie seeks to make the Bible accessible by making hermeneutics accessible. Emulating Lee Strobel’s approach inThe Case for … series, Guthrie travels the country, interviewing biblical scholars and church leaders about how to understand the Bible. The result is an easy-to-read yet in-depth approach to hermeneutics that focuses on connecting the dots of the big storyline of the Bible.

Links for your weekend reading:

1. Top Ten Theology Stories of 2012

2. You’ll read more in 2013 if you have a plan. Here’s a good example.

3. Ten Reasons Your Top Talent Will Leave You

4. Meals Matter to the Mission

5. An Uptick in Digital Books and a Downtick in Hard Copy

6. Give Me Law or Give Me Death!

7. The First Christmas Movie – from 1898





Trevin Wax|3:44 am CT

Kingdom People: Top 10 Posts of 2012

The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is typically quiet in the blog-world. So for today, I’ve put together a list of some of the most-read posts this year at Kingdom People.

1. Ten Questions a Pro-choice Candidate is Never Asked by the Media (October 24, 2012)

Debate moderators and reporters love to ask pro-life candidates hard questions about abortion. Curiously, they don’t do the same for pro-choice candidates.

2. How I Wish the Homosexuality Debate Would Go (October 18, 2011). This was last year’s #1 post, but it received another round of attention in the spring of 2012.

Just once, I’d like to see a TV interview go more like this…

3. Why the Chick-fil-A Boycott is Really about Jesus (August 1, 2012)

What we are seeing today is a massive cultural shift that permits leaders to label Christians as intolerant and bigoted simply for expressing their views about how society should function.

4. Dear Stay-At-Home Mom (August 6, 2012)

God loves you – not because you are a good mother but just because you are His precious child.

5. Why Hunger Games is Flawed to Its Core (May 17, 2012)

Nate Wilson was in town recently, and we had a conversation about books, beauty, and bestsellers. Naturally, we talked about The Hunger GamesHis take on it was too good to keep to myself, so I asked if I could share it here.

6. Seven Myths about the Columbine Shooting (October 9, 2012)

I thought I knew the basic facts about the deadly shooting at Columbine High School in 1999. I was wrong. Here are seven common myths about that tragic day.

7. Is it Biblical to Ask Jesus into Your Heart? (May 15, 2012)

This conversation about our methods and terminology in evangelism is an important one. I just hope that people who share a lot of the same concerns will understand the common ground they have and not impute mistakes to one another.

8. Grace and Truth Beyond the Elephant Room (January 26, 2012)

When we engage in conflict, let’s make sure it is out of love for the truth, love for Jesus, love for one another, and love for the people we shepherd. Sometimes we may even stand against a brother on a certain issue, but even when we take an adversarial stance, it ought always to be for the good of that brother and the glory of King Jesus.

9. You Are Not “Just a Sinner Saved By Grace” (June 11, 2012)

“Just a sinner saved by grace” is only half the gospel. It’s true that in Christ, God has wiped the slate clean and has forgiven us our sins. But let’s make sure we don’t leave out the flip side – that not only does He forgive our sins, but He also regenerates us through the power of His Spirit.

10. Lessons from the Megachurch Pastor who Killed a Man (May 29, 2012)

Can we learn some things from J. Frank Norris? Yes. His ministry can serve as a cautionary tale in these ways…





Trevin Wax|3:19 am CT

Worth (Another) Look – 2012 Wrap Up

The nature of the blogosphere is that blog posts come and go rather quickly. It’s easy for great articles to get lost in the flood of information that we process every day. So, as a service to readers, I went back through some of my “Trevin’s Seven” and “Worth a Look” posts from 2012 and chose some content from other blogs – articles that deserve another look.

Here are ten blog posts from 2012 worth revisiting:

1. How to Stay Orthodox and Humble When Talking about God

2. Deep Preaching

3. Why Men Should Read More Fiction (and related, “Leaders, Read Fiction!“)

4. McDonald’s, Jonathan Edwards, and Holy Affections

5. “You Don’t Have a Soul”: C. S. Lewis Never Said It

6. Is Proverbs 22:6 a Guarantee?

7. How do I raise my daughter to know the true definition of beauty in a culture such as ours?

8. The Ultimate Homophobia

9. Lessons from the Costa Concordia

10. Ten Attributes of a Humble Leader





Trevin Wax|3:37 am CT

Christmas Flash Mob – Oradea, Romania

Some of our friends back home in Oradea, Romania gathered as a flash mob downtown to celebrate the birth of Jesus.





Trevin Wax|3:31 am CT

Silent Night

One of my favorite versions of this song: