Theological Reflections on the Pandemic

Brian Tabb: So thou, sick world, mistak’st thy self to be Well, when alas! thou’rt in a lethargy. . . . There is no health; physicians say that we, At best, enjoy but a neutrality. And can there be worse sickness than to know That we are never well, nor can be so? —John Donne, “An Anatomy of the World” Once again, the terrifying term “pandemic” has been headline news. On December 31, 2019, Chinese health officials reported cases of serious respiratory sickness in people associated with a large market in Wuhan, China. This outbreak was soon linked to a “novel coronavirus” (later given the innocuous name “COVID-19”), and the World Health Organization declared “a global public health emergency” due to the deadly virus. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization characterized COVID-19 as “a pandemic,” with confirmed cases of the virus in well over 100 countries, thousands of confirmed deaths—and thousands of new cases being reported each day. The Center for Disease Control ominously warns that there is “no vaccine

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A prayer by John Piper, occasioned by the earthquake in Japan – 11th March 2011

Father in heaven, you are the absolute Sovereign over the shaking of the earth, the rising of the sea, and the raging of the waves. We tremble at your power and bow before your unsearchable judgments and inscrutable ways. We cover our faces and kiss your omnipotent hand. We fall helpless to the floor in prayer and feel how fragile the very ground is beneath our knees. O God, we humble ourselves under your holy majesty and repent. In a moment—in the twinkling of an eye—we too could be swept away. We are not more deserving of firm ground than our fellowmen in Japan. We too are flesh. We have bodies and homes and cars and family and precious places. We know that if we were treated according to our sins, who could stand? All of it would be gone in a moment. So in this dark hour we turn against our sins, not against you. And we cry for

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Does God Hate Haiti?

Albert Mohler’s comments are worth quoting at length: Does God hate Haiti? That is the conclusion reached by many, who point to the earthquake as a sign of God’s direct and observable judgment. God does judge the nations — all of them — and God will judge the nations. His judgment is perfect and his justice is sure. He rules over all the nations and his sovereign will is demonstrated in the rising and falling of nations and empires and peoples. Every molecule of matter obeys his command, and the earthquakes reveal his reign — as do the tides of relief and assistance flowing into Haiti right now. A faithful Christian cannot accept the claim that God is a bystander in world events. The Bible clearly claims the sovereign rule of God over all his creation, all of the time. We have no right to claim that God was surprised by the earthquake in Haiti, or to allow that God

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Reasons Believers in Christ Need Not Be Afraid

Adrian Warnock pointed me in the direction of this encouraging piece from John Piper: 1. We will not die apart from God’s gracious decree for his children. James 4:14-15 “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” Matthew 10:29-30 “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Deuteronomy 32:39 “See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.” (See Job 1:21;1 Samuel 2:6; 2 Kings 5:7) 2. Curses and divination do not hold sway against God’s people. Numbers 23:23 “There is no enchantment against Jacob, no divination against Israel.” 3. The plans

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“…God will use this tragedy to shake up the world.” Repent or Perish Luke 13:1 There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? 3 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? 5 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

6 Ways to React to the Cyclone

By John Piper. As the carnage from Cyclone Nargis moves toward 50,000 dead and beyond, there is a way to pray and act: 1. Be softened to the pain nearby. The Good Samaritan knew nothing of the calamities in first century Burma, but was commended by the Lord for mercies at hand (Luke 10:25-37). 2. Pray for the followers of Christ in Myanmar: That they would be still and know that God is God (Psalm 46:10; 100:3). That they would be awakened from the illusion that this life is long or sure or the main point of eternal existence (James 4:14). That they would be given a new vision of the supreme value of Christ who promises his followers that famine, nakedness, and death will not separate them from his love (Romans 8:35). That God would meet their needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus, so that they might have to give to those in need (Philippians

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