Yes, God does hear our prayers. He sometimes answers prayer in Scripture with spectacular miracles. But here he answers with quiet, ordinary providence—daily living in humble, trusting obedience. Ruth received the blessings of Naomi’s prayer. But what neither Ruth nor Naomi (nor Boaz) ever realized in their lifetimes is that the blessings of Naomi’s prayer (Obed, Jesse, David, and generations on to Jesus) would continue into the twenty-first century and into eternity.

Blanchard, Tom. “God May Providentially Answer Our Prayers … Way beyond Our Imagination!: Ruth 1:8–9.” In Hebrew for Life: Strategies for Learning, Retaining, and Reviving Biblical Hebrew, 44–45. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic: A Division of Baker Publishing Group, 2020.

How I Tried on Fundamentalist Christianity and Found It Didn’t Fit | Roger E. Olson

So are fundamentalist Christians really Christians, authentically Christian? I would say most of them are because they accept Jesus Christ as God and Savior, have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ, and embrace all the key doctrines of historical, classical Christian orthodoxy. But many of them are deluded Christians and many of them are mean Christians—especially toward other conservative Christians with whom they disagree about matters like women in ministry, speaking in tongues, the “end times,” biblical inerrancy, etc.
— Read on www.patheos.com/blogs/rogereolson/2020/10/how-i-tried-on-fundamentalist-christianity-and-found-it-didnt-fit/

The details are quite different, but I have been on the same journey. At this stage in my life, I just feel sorry for fundamentalists and have no hope of seeing any movement in them.

Why Understanding Cultural Context Precedes Application – Keener

Although everyone knows that the Bible was written in a different time and culture, and most people take that fact into account when they read particular passages, not everyone is consistent in using cultural background. Of course, not all passages in the Bible require much background; our culture still has some features in common with the culture of the Bible. But if we do not know anything about the original culture, we may sometimes assume that we do not need any background for a passage when in fact it would dramatically affect the way we read the text.Even though most people recognize the need to pay attention to cultural background, some people become nervous at the suggestion that they need it.
— Read on craigkeener.com/context-precedes-application/

Wheaton Prof Vincent Bacote Shares Political Principles Amid Polarization – Juicy Ecumenism

Bacote organized his message around four principles for churches to remind congregations. The first emphasized loyalty to God alone by resisting the temptation of trusting politics to fulfill desires. “The temptation is to hear the voice of the political carnival barkers,” Bacote said. “Idols are great at making promises and horrible at delivering on them… but idols feel nearer than a transcendent God. If you call yourself a Christian, that is out of bounds.”

This idolatry extends to politics. Rather than misplacing trust in all politicians to do the work of God, Bacote says to “Have your loyalty to God alone. This is Obligation Number One if you’re a Christian. If you love God with all you’ve got, there’s no room for anything else.”

Bacote connected this mandate with an exhortation to reject toxic Christian tribalism. If evangelicals are to be good news people, this must extend to all. Bacote used the example of evangelicals and those in the LGBTQ community. A “good news evangelical” will strive to be the first person to welcome a young adult who has been kicked out of their home. Bacote said he longed for the public reputation of evangelicals to be known as this type of person: one who loves regardless of differences.

— Read on juicyecumenism.com/2020/10/08/vincent-bacote/

Resurrection Hope – Seedbed

Jesus is not speaking of resurrection in the future tense. Well, he is, but not as if it is somewhere over the rainbow. The resurrection is not a future event. Neither is it a present event. He is saying, “I am the resurrection.” The resurrection is not an event. It is a person. Jesus is the resurrection. Jesus is the life. Jesus is not asking Martha to believe in something that will happen in the future. He wants her to know by believing in him now, the future has already happened.
— Read on www.seedbed.com/why-the-resurrection-is-not-our-hope/

Why Jesus Wants Loyal Friends, Not Worshipful Fans – Seedbed

Many are content to know Jesus as Savior. Fewer are willing to know him as Lord. Not many, however, will become his friends. Many are content to worship him like a loyal subject who bows low before a king. Fewer still are willing to approach him as the son or daughter of a loving Father. Not many will walk with him as friend.
— Read on www.seedbed.com/why-jesus-wants-loyal-friends-not-worshipful-fans/