An Update from Fanning the Flames

Greetings from Jay and Rhonda,

Just a quick update about some new features at  We have been working for the last few weeks on a “topical archive” for the website.  This archive is now up and running and joins the monthly archive in the right-hand column of the home page.  It is an archive of our posts by subject matter and we trust it will be a useful launching point for finding posts about Faith, Family, The Kingdom of God, etc.  The subject “Walking in the New Nature” is the most extensive as it tries to capture all we have written on what the provisions of the new covenant look like in practice.

We have also added a search query at the top of the right-hand column that allows the user to search for any word or string of words in our 218 posts.  For example, if you type in “new covenant” it will return about half our posts.

I also want to say thank you for your participation in this endeavor.  I started this weblog with about 30 posts in my head, but your questions and God’s continual prompting have kept it going long past its original idea.  And our continuing goal is always to fan the flames of your supernatural life in Christ.  With that in mind, our next series is about what motivates new covenant believers to do the right thing.  I invite you to join us.

Gratefully yours,

Jay and Rhonda

Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People? A Wrap-up

(9 of 9 in a series on “Why do bad things happen to good people?”)

Over the past several weeks, we have explored three broad reasons that bad things happen to good people.  First, the law of consequence says that even good people make mistakes and bad outcomes often follow bad choices.

Second, God has each of us on a training program that often includes some pain.  What I have tried to emphasize from Hebrews chapter 12 is the view that God’s discipline is never random, capricious, or mean.  If God disciplines us as a good father would (an analogy used in Hebrews 12), then I think we can expect his discipline to be understandable and a clear path to “our good and His holiness”.  If we carry Christ as our New Testament picture of God, we can rest assured that God’s training program will not be unknowable but rather can be understood through the character and work of Jesus Christ.

Third, we have a dark enemy.  I don’t think we recognize and teach enough the evil power in the universe who seeks to do us harm.  God is not the author of evil.  Don’t blame God for the evil in this world.  The author of evil is Satan himself, and he is an active and powerful enemy.  But Satan is a defeated enemy and we have the weapons of prayer and faith to overcome him and his schemes.

Now any time we answer an age-old question with three short points, there is always a danger of minimizing the complexity of this question.  Our goal has not been to just give pat answers and there may always be some mystery surrounding the bad things that happen to us.  But there are biblical answers and we have endeavored to explore these biblical answers over the past eight posts as thoroughly as this medium allows.  And while these answers may not take away all of the mystery, I believe God gives them to us to strengthen our faith.  And faith is one of our primary weapons against the evil forces that threaten us.

Remember, according to II Corinthians 4, it is Satan’s desire to hide the fact that under the new covenant, “the knowledge of the glory of God is shining in the face of Christ” (II Cor 4:6).  It is God’s desire to demonstrate his glory in the face of Christ.  So when the tide of evil is rising, either personally or in the world around us, keep looking to Jesus, “Our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend.”