John David Kudrick

putting words to work for you

Tag: Bible (page 1 of 2)

Dueling Perspectives on Faith?

The time when young people are most likely to abandon their Christian upbringing is in their teens. And the reason most often given is unanswered doubts and questions. It’s time for parents, pastors, teachers, and youth leaders to step to the plate and provide answers to those questions.

Author Nancy Pearcey
from her endorsement of
So the Next Generation Will Know
by Sean McDowell and J. Warner Wallace

Aligning faith in God and certainty about what we believe and needing to be right in order to maintain a healthy faith—these do not make for a healthy faith in God. In a nutshell, that is the problem. And that is what I mean by the “sin of certainty.” … Doubt can certainly leave us empty and frightened, but that is precisely the benefit of doubt: it exposes the folly that strong faith means you need to “know what you believe,” that the more faith you “have,” the more certain you are. … But doubt is not the enemy of faith, a solely destructive force that rips us away from God, a dark cloud that blocks the bright warm sun of faith. Doubt is only the enemy of faith when we equate faith with certainty in our thinking.

Author Peter Enns
from his book
The Sin of Certainty

Worth a Read (and a Second Read) …

Extracts from a Thomas Merton essay,

“We Have to Make Ourselves Heard,”

first published in the June 1962 issue

of The Catholic Worker


It would be legitimate and even obligatory for all sane and conscientious people everywhere in the world to lay down their weapons and their tools and starve and be shot rather than cooperate in the war effort. If such a mass movement should spontaneously arise in parts of the world, in Russia and America, in China and in France, in Africa and in Germany, the human race could be saved from extinction….
Continue reading

That’ll Quote: Finding God via Personal Experience

The Bible is not the pathway to God; the Spirit of God is the pathway.

Pete Enns

From “Pete Enns and Chris Green: The Revenant”

Newsworthy with Norsworthy podcast — Aug. 8, 2016


And for more by Pete Enns, check out “The Bible’s True Purpose Is to Make You Feel Good About Yourself (JK)”

In Honor of MLK Day and a Daughter’s 16th Birthday

Resentment unites anger, fear, and sadness in a kind of closed-circle, scissors-paper-rock game. In the absence of resentment, anger, fear, and sadness tend to heal each other. Anger can act like scissors, cutting through fear–the fear that like an enveloping shroud wraps itself around and threatens to smother the rock that is sadness. But that very sadness, which rises from the realization of our own transience and the ultimate futility of our human efforts to control, is the only tool we have to blunt anger–to forestall the resentment that anger becomes if it is nourished even after our fears have been quelled.
Anger and sadness butt against each other, steel against stone. But just as scissors “take” paper and rock “takes” scissors, sadness will finally take anger–if we let the sadness through. For sadness, shared, can heal. Anger storms in the hard passage between fear and sadness; cultivated, it turns into a jagged resentment that tears rather than trims and that resists healing. Denying fear and scorning the sadness that is shared, resentment refuses the possibility of going through and beyond the anger into forgiveness.
The danger of anger … lies not in anger itself, but in resentment, the clinging to and prolonged attachment to anger. Resentment is the refusal, out of fear, to cross the bridge of sadness and let ourselves back into the impermanent world of relationship. Anger as resentment refuses relationship, slashing at everything and everyone that comes close. But our pain can be healed only by some kind of closeness, some kind of connection with others. Sadness opens us to the need for unity and community.

From The Spirituality of Imperfection

By Ernest Kurtz and Katherine Ketcham

Continue reading

“Broken people with deep wounds …”

Great line that echoes an idea I continue to share with authors wanting to craft novels with visceral characters who are more than cardboard clichés (since none of us are):


The older I get, the more I’ve come to understand that there are no real villains, only broken people with deep wounds who cannot help but to bleed onto others.

Jamie Wright


(And the entire blog post is well worth reading too!)

A Different Way

From “The Gospel of Luke” in the book God Is Disappointed in You, by Mark Russell (writer) and Shannon Wheeler (cartoonist):

As he slowly bled to death, it seemed like the whole world had gathered to ridicule Jesus. As he hung there dying, they beat and mocked Jesus for being so naive as to waste his time on pathetic and misguided ideas like forgiveness. For which he forgave them.


“What If…?”

Speculative fiction that reimagines the president’s “9/11 Address to the Nation” from 2001:

Good evening.

Today, humanity’s foundational pillars of existence—love, peace, mercy, and compassion—came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts. The victims were moms and dads, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, friends and neighbors. Thousands of lives suddenly came to an end because of these attacks. The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, and huge structures collapsing have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness, and a quiet, unyielding anger. While anger is a natural reaction to such aggression, we must resist the desire for revenge. These extremists intended to stir up a hornet’s nest and further fan the flames of war and hatred in our world. But they have failed. Rather than seek vengeance out of bitter anger, our country will link arms with every willing nation to counter evil with the love, peace, mercy, and compassion I’ve already mentioned.

Today, our world saw evil—the very worst of human nature—but the world also saw some of the best of humanity: with the daring of the many rescue workers, with the caring for strangers and neighbors who came to give blood and help in any way they could, with the joining of hands and hearts here and all over the globe.

Immediately following the first attack, I implemented our government’s emergency response plans. Our emergency teams are working in New York City and Washington D.C. to help with local rescue efforts. Our first priority is to get help to those who have been injured, and to take every precaution to protect humanity against further attacks here and around the world. Beyond this, the functions of our government and economy will continue without interruption.

I appreciate so very much the members of Congress who have joined me in strongly condemning these attacks. And on behalf of the American people, I thank the many world leaders who have called to offer their condolences and assistance. America and our friends and allies join with all those who want peace and unity in the world, and we stand together to win the war against terrorism.

But this war will not be won with the typical weapons of this world: guns, tanks, missiles, and military personnel. Fighting fire with fire only creates a more dangerous blaze. Meeting violence with violence only produces and perpetuates more violence.

Rather, keeping in mind humanity’s pillars of love, peace, mercy, and compassion, we must learn the truth of what it means to turn the other cheek—not to roll over and shrink away from this brutal assault, but rather to practice peaceful, nonviolent resistance, as modeled by so many great figures throughout history: Jesus Christ, Mohandas Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King, just to name a few.

Nearly every religion has had its extremists who attempt to justify evil in the name of their god. The history of my own Christian faith has seen horrible acts committed in the name of a supposedly loving, peaceful God: from the bloody mass murders of the Inquisition overseas to the oppression and subjugation of the Native peoples here in our own land, and of course our justification of slavery and treating an entire race as less than human—continuing even years after slavery officially ended, with the ghastly, nearly incomprehensible slaughter of African Americans by lynching, burning, and torture at the hands of domestic terrorists.

And so, in response to these international terrorists, I am thankful to have already talked to peace-loving Muslims who have decried these attacks. Like me, they want to see a new world order of peace and unity regardless of race, religion, gender, or anything else that we have allowed to fracture humanity. So we will join with any and all who desire this as well.

Together, we will respond with love: seeking ways to bring real, relevant humanitarian aid and help to those suffering around the world, no matter where they reside. We will respond with peace: seeking ways to build bridges in every corner of human existence rather than build walls that divide. We will respond with mercy: seeking to offer empathy and restorative justice rather than vengeance and retribution to those who hurt us. And, finally, we will respond with compassion: seeking always to look for ways to be a blessing to others, remembering that we are all part of the great global family called “humanity,” and in doing so that we might live out those well-known but too often unpracticed words of Christ: “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”

In closing, I ask for your prayers for all those who grieve, for the children whose worlds have been shattered, for all whose sense of peace has been threatened. And I pray they will be comforted by a Power greater than any of us, spoken through the ages in Psalm 23: “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.”

Let this day be remembered as a day when all people on this earth unite in our resolve to be peacemakers. None of us will ever forget this day, yet we go forward to bring about a world that can more powerfully experience the reality of a global community of love, peace, mercy, and compassion.

Thank you. Good night. And God bless humanity around the world.

Note: Watch and/or read the original address here.

Going into All the World with the Gospel: Part 4

It's God's Call on How Far You Should Go   // Going into All the World with the Gospel: Part 4 -- From book editor, John David Kudrick // #christianwriter #christianbook #writing #novelwriting

It’s God’s Call on How Far You Should Go

Since I left you hanging in Part 3 of this series, I’ll get right back to my thoughts on the main question we’re exploring in all of this: Can Christian novelists go too far with their content in trying to reach the world with life-changing stories that can touch hearts and point readers toward God?

With that in mind, I also think about the prophet Hosea and how God called him to marry a prostitute … and then to go so far as to seek her out and take her back after she’d left him and likely cheated on him. As I shared this with one of our teen daughters on my lunch break just a little bit ago, she said, “Isn’t the Bible pretty much R-rated?” And I could only say, “Good point.” Because beyond Hosea, you can find all kinds of strong language, graphic violence, disturbing scenes, mature content, and even explicit sex (no matter how much people try to make Song of Solomon a strict allegory).

Finally, there’s the example of Jesus, who hung around the societal dregs of his day and age, with Matthew 11:19 going so far as to call him “a friend of tax collectors and sinners”—as in, the worst of the worst. Yeah, I know this isn’t a direct comparison to a Christian writing what might be considered tawdry fiction, but it gives me enough pause to keep thinking on this, because isn’t Jesus our best example of how to go into all the world with the gospel?

As a side note on that final thought about Jesus setting the example for us, XXXchurch also comes to mind: a ministry not only reaching those in bondage to pornography addiction, but also reaching out personally to those involved in the pornography industry itself—as in, setting up a booth at porn trade shows and showing God’s love to those in the industry and anyone in attendance through a variety of means.

Continue reading

Going into All the World with the Gospel: Part 3

Can a Christian Novelist Go Too Far? // Going into All the World with the Gospel: Part 3 -- From book editor, John David Kudrick // #christianwriter #christianbook #writing #novelwriting

Can a Christian Novelist Go Too Far?

And so we come to the pivotal point in this series on Christ followers who are novelists that want to share their stories with the world. It’s time to dive into the main question we’ve been driving toward by way of the first and second posts: Can Christian novelists go too far with their content in trying to reach the world with life-changing stories that can touch hearts and point readers toward God?

At the end of the second post, I took us into an imaginary writing group of Christians who were sharing their story ideas in the initial meeting. Each novelist who presented a story idea was kind enough to also associate the content of the novel with a typical US movie rating: G, PG, PG-13 … and R?

Huh? A Christian novelist thinking that God might be calling him or her to write an R-rated story—and one that doesn’t even have any in-your-face stuff about God, Jesus, the Bible, etc.?

And so I ask again: Can Christian novelists can go too far?

Continue reading

Going into All the World with the Gospel: Part 2

So God’s Calling You to Write a Novel about (insert story idea here)? // Going into All the World with the Gospel: Part 2 -- From book editor, John David Kudrick // #christianwriter #christianbook #writing #novelwriting

So God’s Calling You to Write a Novel about (insert story idea here)?

In the first post of this series, I broached the idea that God might use a novel written by a Christ follower to knock on the door of someone’s heart, or maybe even give it a last nudge to open it all the way so the light of Christ can shine in. I also pointed ahead to where this whole discussion is heading: Can Christian novelists go too far with their content in trying to reach the world with life-changing stories that can touch hearts and point readers toward God?

Mainly I laid some groundwork by presenting the wide spectrum of people that can be found among the world’s fiction readers, and to remember that every person on the spectrum of readers needs Jesus and the good news in some way, shape, or form. And that’s where I want to pick up with this post.

If Jesus called his followed to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” (Mark 16:15) and to “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19), as mentioned in the previous post, then it seems that every person on the spectrum of fiction readers would certainly fall into the “all-ness” of Jesus’s commission to us.

Continue reading

« Older posts

© 2019 John David Kudrick

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑