Chapter 174

Speaking into Crisis

What we can learn from two pastors-Bonhoeffer and Thielicke-who ministered in terrible times

I have long been romanced by the story of Paul's bold intervention among the soldiers and sailors in charge of a ship that is breaking up in the middle of a Mediterranean storm. Having exhausted their routine responses to severe conditions, they had given up hope of being saved.

Enter Paul! "Men," (and I'm paraphrasing here) "you should have listened to me earlier when I said not to leave port, but you didn't. But don't be afraid. I've received a word from God. The good news is that no life is to be lost; the bad news is that the ship has made its last voyage. Keep courageous, men; God will do as he's promised."

Here was a voice speaking confidently into crisis, offering a message that steadies people and provides reliable direction. It's an apt subject for our times in which people are scared, wonder of the future, and speculate on their personal security. Not always the most important issues, ultimately, but nevertheless the ones on people's ...

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