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[February 13, 2017 | No Comment | ]
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by Mathew Block
“I had no love for this righteous and angry God, but secretly hated Him, and thought to myself: ‘Isn’t it enough that God has condemned us to everlasting death because of Adam’s sin and that we must suffer so much trouble and misery in this life? Over and above the terror of the law, must He increase our misery and anguish by the gospel? And by preaching the same, thunder against us His justice and fierce wrath?’”
That cry of despair is one with which many people down through …


In: Headline, Reformation 500, Table Talk

[December 14, 2016 | No Comment | ]
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by Mathew Block
“And the angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people…’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased!’” (Luke 2:10, 13-14).
Joy to the world! Peace on earth! The words are the recurring refrain of Christmas celebrations down through the centuries, drawn from the angels’ greetings to the …


In: Feature Stories, Headline, Table Talk

[October 7, 2016 | 2 Comments | ]
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by Mathew Block
Why am I a Lutheran? It’s about the Gospel. It’s about a God, looking with love on a broken creation—looking at sinful humanity and knowing they can’t save themselves. So He steps down, takes their weakness, their sin upon Himself and suffers in their place. Jesus, the Great High Priest, becomes the Sacrificial Lamb. And He dies.
Why am I a Lutheran? It’s about the Gospel.
But He doesn’t stay dead. The One crucified on the cross is the same One who walks out of a tomb three days later. …


In: Feature Stories, Headline, Table Talk

[August 15, 2016 | No Comment | ]
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A blind friend once shared with me the story of what it was like to go blind. She suffered from macular degeneration—a condition where you lose the ability to see in the centre of your visual field. Consequently, my friend kept some peripheral vision, but was nevertheless functionally (and legally) blind.
As you can imagine, the transition was not easy. She had to learn to fold her paper money in different ways, so that she could quickly tell a $5 from a $50. Before she learned this trick, at least one …


In: Feature Stories, Headline, Table Talk

[June 28, 2016 | No Comment | ]
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by Mathew Block
The thought arises unbidden and unwelcome. Maybe it comes on quickly. Maybe it comes on slowly—so slowly, in fact, that you never even suspect it’s coming, until one day you wake up and there it is in the back of your mind. But sudden or gradual, the question is real and it strikes to the heart of your faith: do I really believe all this?
There are many kinds of doubt, and we do not all experience the same kinds. A woman watches her husband slowly waste away due …


In: Feature Stories, Headline, Table Talk

[June 20, 2016 | No Comment | ]
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by Mathew Block
It’s easy to become discouraged these days as Christians living in Canada. The legalization of euthanasia, attempts to ban graduates of a certain Christian university from entering the legal profession, and ever increasing hostility to public expressions of faith are all evidence of rampant secularization. Membership in Christian denominations is down across the spectrum, including in Lutheran Church–Canada, and those attending church services regularly are the exception, not the norm, these days.
You can start to feel pretty small in a world like that. You can be afraid to …


In: Headline, Table Talk