John Hutchison

A Teacher’s Response to the Newtown, Conn. Tragedy

By John Hutchison Dec. 17, 2012 9:46 a.m. Culture, Theology

This week the tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary School have grabbed our attention for understandable reasons. The atrocity of killing 26 people, mostly children in their first grade classroom, is inconceivable to all who think about the event. Though I do not know any of the families affected, as a parent and grandparent, I have felt deep sorrow since that time, and have prayed for those who had such great losses.

One of the classes I teach for Biola’s School of Education is predominantly elementary school teachers. An assignment was already posted on Friday for interaction in an online discussion group, but I sensed the need to “change the subject” and invite these teachers to talk about the day’s events. One of the elementary school teachers was really struggling that day, and wrote her concerns and questions in the blog. She expressed her heartache for the parents and their children, and her desire to present God as a God of love and compassion. Yet, she was stuck on the question, “How could a loving God allow something like this to happen?” Realizing none of us can fully explain the “whys” of tragedy in our world, I decided to respond with the words that follow:

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Weakness = Strength . . . What is that all about?

By John Hutchison Apr. 13, 2012 10:15 a.m. Biblical Exposition, Spiritual Formation, Theology

Paradox has a prominent place in Christian theology. Jesus said, “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and the gospel will save it" ... While these paradoxical statements are challenging and even confusing at times, they can also become a source of great comfort and encouragement when life does not turn out the way we expect.

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May I Have Your Attention, Please?

By John Hutchison Dec. 5, 2011 9:18 a.m. Biblical Exposition, Spiritual Formation, Theology

Thanksgiving day 2011 has come and gone. Like many families, it has always been for us a time when the relatives gather together. Like many Christian families, we try to remember in a more intentional way the blessings God has bestowed upon us. But unlike most families, on Thanksgiving Day we are painfully reminded of another memory . . .

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No Pain, No Gain

By John Hutchison Nov. 8, 2011 1:00 p.m. Biblical Exposition, Spiritual Formation, Theology

The greatest tests of faith come either when life is going well (prosperity) or when it seems to be falling apart (trials). How can I keep my focus in life during both of these distracting times? A few years ago, when the prayer of Jabez was getting all the attention and selling many books, I became enamored with another obscure prayer in Scripture. It was prayed by a little-known wisdom writer named Agur . . .

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When Things Go Wrong

By John Hutchison Oct. 12, 2011 11:29 a.m. Biblical Exposition, Culture, Theology

Just a month ago I was glued to the TV for an entire weekend as our nation replayed and remembered the tragic events of 9/11/2001. Even after all these years, the many stories of heroism and survival cannot remove the sting of that day. As I watched the video tapes of those well-documented events, I was brought to tears by the stories of so many families who were . . . and still are . . . living with sadness and great loss.  The way this story was reported ten years later reveals to me two of the most difficult ideas for many people to accept . . .

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The Perfect Storms: Handling Conflict in Marriage

By John Hutchison Mar. 25, 2011 11:33 a.m. Biblical Exposition, Church Life

In a recently posted blog (Marriage: The Power of Communication), I quoted  Ephesians 4:29 to affirm the healing power of spirit-controlled communication between a husband and wife : “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.” Even with good intentions, however, all marriages encounter conflict. When the “storm clouds” gather, how important it is to understand the role of disagreement in marriage. Where does it come from? Is it all destructive, or are there constructive attitudes that will strengthen a relationship?

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Marriage: The Power of Communication

By John Hutchison Mar. 19, 2011 7:14 a.m. Biblical Exposition, Church Life

I recently asked one of the elders of our church this question, “If you were choosing one factor that is most crucial in strengthening a marriage, what would it be?” He and his wife regularly do “crisis” marriage counseling with couples seeking help and on the verge of divorce. The response: “Bear one another’s burdens—learn to be a good listener, pray for your spouse, and communicate that you really care.” Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But even with the best of intentions, practicing this requires good communication skills. Ephesians 4:29 (NASB) says . . .

 

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