Category Archives: Articles

Changes coming to Forthright Press and Magazine

As of Feb. 25, Barbara Ann Oliver will step down, due to personal reasons, from the daily operations of Forthright Magazine. We will miss her presence and good work.

Thanks, Barbara, for your wonderful contribution all these years.

For now, I will resume editing of articles. We are searching for a managing editor, a volunteer position since the magazine is a free service.

Forthright Magazine has been around since the mid 1990s. It was our first online effort. Everything else we do online has grown out of it.

My son Joel has begun reworking the Forthright Press website and will take over the marketing and sales. He brings experience and knowledge to the process.

Every change is an opportunity for growth. We trust in the Lord to show better ways of serving the church and of helping others seek his way.

Practicing Proverbs, chapter 2

This is an exercise we’ve done with several chapters in the book of Proverbs for our own edification. This seven-fold list might encourage you.

  1. Wisdom (and the truth behind it) is discoverable, 1-11. We can know the truth, Jn 8.31-32. Pilate’s question, “What is truth?” has an answer.
  2. To “call out for” discernment and “raise your voice” for understanding, 3, indicate the intensity of desire for wisdom, reinforced by verse 4. The search must be real and all-consuming, or “extreme” (now a positive quality).
  3. Wisdom must enter the heart, 10. Truth comes from outside man, Ps 51.6. The popular idea of looking within oneself for truth and guidance is terribly misguided.
  4. Wisdom is a savior from evil men and immoral women, 12-19. It works powerfully in a fallen world.
  5. The marriage covenant is “made before God” 17. It is more than a contract between two people. God unites them, so it ought not to be broken.
  6. The upright who reside in the land, 21, are those who prosper and have peace by seeking God’s wisdom. See Mt 5.5.
  7. Wisdom and wickedness are two ways of life—and the only two that exist—that lead to two different destinies, 21-22. Which will you choose? 20.

Be a voice for heavenly truth

Verification of truth can be a hard thing. When the president of a country claims his administration has built a certain number of houses, counting those constructions presents certain challenges. It’s not impossible to do, but it is difficult.

When a child claims to have done a chore or obeyed his parent, that’s easier to check. Your bank account’s balance is not so hard to discover. So verification of facts and truth can be hard or easy, depending on the claim or the affirmation made.

Many people would put the verification of biblical truth at the hard end of the scale. A few even deny such a scale exists, saying that truth in the spiritual realm is impossible to grasp.

Their answer to Pilate’s question about what is truth? Truth, they say, is whatever you want it to be. As long as you don’t make it absolute for everyone else.

This idea creates a new kind of Christianity. But it’s not the right kind. Because Jesus said the truth is knowable and verifiable, Jn 8.32. He is truth personified, Jn 14.6.

We’re surrounded, and our children are surrounded, by voices that claim relative truth. Voices sing it in music. Voices imply it on television. Voices pontificate it from political bully pulpits. Voices teach it in the schools. Voices whisper it in the night. Voices claim it all over the internet.

The Lord is looking for voices to speak up for a heavenly truth that is easy to verify. Simple to perceive. Open to investigation. Possible to identify. Necessary to live.

Lift up your voice for the truth of the gospel.

A generous family of faith

Over where it all started, on Forthright Magazine, I posted yesterday a rare editorial, “Changes afoot,” detailing a few upcoming novelties. I mention a boyhood memory:

Brotherhood evangelistic efforts, as a rule, do not ask for donations from people they are trying to reach. They seek support from within the brotherhood. I remember watching, as a boy, “The Herald of Truth,” when Batsell Barrett Baxter was the speaker, and feeling glad that, differently from denominational programs, no financial appeal was ever made on the program.

Our people have long been generous to support good works. Such generosity signals spiritual health. Let us develop that willingness to spread the Good News of Christ. Let us seek out people laboring in the fields. And let us do what money alone cannot: pray to the Lord of the harvest for more workers.

He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest, Lk 10.2.

Pray that God will produce fruit from every good effort. Pray that he will uphold the hands of those who labor. Pray that these will be faithful in their task and teaching.

And continue to grow in support of those workers, in every way.

Help the weak

The people of God, then and now, protect the weak and seek the good of all. They are forbidden to take advantage of the helpless.

“You must not pervert justice due a resident foreigner or an orphan, or take a widow’s garment as security for a loan” Deuteronomy 24.17 NET.

Moses considers that helping the weak is not merely a matter of compassion, but of justice. Continue reading

My Pleroma social media account

4 reasons why posting your public content on Facebook is a bad idea

Maybe you’re happy that a only small group of friends sees your cat pictures or short comments. But your public content deserves to be seen by a wider audience, right? Some things you want the world to see.

When you want to share with the world, your articles, reflections, photos, and links should all be easily available to anyone who wants to see them.

That goes double for devotional thoughts, Bible meditations, and gospel articles.

Here are some reasons why it’s not advisable to post your public content to Facebook, along with suggestions about what to do. Continue reading

World’s most read books

most-read-books

The source of the infogram did not say where the data came from. I found it strange that the Quran was not included, or other books of the world’s major religions. Be that as it may, the list makes for an interesting insight into our times.

We’re not surprised by the first most read book, the Bible. It is by far the most translated, most printed, most distributed of all. A tragedy that it is not the most heeded and lived.

Our mission at Forthright Press is to call people to that book as God’s revelation of what he has done in Christ to bring us to himself.

 

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Jeff Jenkins writes Communion Meditations

Our good brother Jeff A.Jenkins launched his participation in Forthright Magazine today taking over the Communion Meditation column. His first offering is The Great Exchange.

We’re excited to have Jeff on board as a columnist and welcome him as a coworker in this effort.

His articles were supposed to have appeared last Sunday, but the FMag site was down.

In this case, the old saw is true, better late than never.