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About Mike Wittmer

Mike is Professor of Systematic Theology at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. He has written Heaven Is a Place on Earth (Zondervan), Don’t Stop Believing (Zondervan), The Last Enemy (Discovery House Publishers),  Despite Doubt (Discovery House Publishers), and Becoming Worldly Saints (Zondervan). Mike and his wife, Julie, are too busy with three school-age children to have any hobbies, but he does make time to blog on theological topics here.

Photobombing Jesus

By |2020-05-08T16:10:09-04:00May 13th, 2020|

When my pastor asked our class a difficult question about the life of Jesus, my hand shot up. I had just read the story, so I knew this one. And I wanted the others in the room to know that I knew it too. After all, I’m a Bible teacher. How embarrassing it would be to be stumped in front of them! Now I was embarrassed by my fear of embarrassment. So I lowered my hand. Am I this insecure...

Run Toward Challenge

By |2020-04-20T16:21:22-04:00April 25th, 2020|

Tom chased the young men who were stealing his poor friend’s bike. He didn’t have a plan. He only knew he needed to get it back. To his surprise, the three thieves looked his way, dropped the bike and backed away. Tom was both relieved and impressed with himself as he picked up the bike and turned around. That’s when he saw Jeff, his muscular friend who had been trailing close behind...

Stay on the Way

By |2020-04-09T16:12:29-04:00April 8th, 2020|

Dusk fell as I followed Li Bao along the tops of terraced walls cut into the mountains of central China. I had never been this way before, and I couldn’t see more than one step ahead or how steep the ground dropped off to our left. I gulped and stuck close to Li. I didn’t know where we were going or how long it would take, but I trusted my friend...

Pure Worship

By |2020-03-04T12:17:03-05:00March 8th, 2020|

Jose pastored a church known for its programs and theatrical productions. They were well done, yet he worried the church’s busyness had slipped into a business. Was the church growing for the right reasons or because of its activities? Jose wanted to find out, so he canceled all extra church events for one year. His congregation would focus on being a living temple where people worshiped God...

Raise Praise

By |2020-02-06T12:31:57-05:00February 8th, 2020|

You can generally tell where a map was drawn by what lies in its middle. We tend to think our home is the center of the world, so we put a dot in the middle and sketch out from there. Nearby towns might be fifty miles to the north or half a day’s drive to the south, but all are described in relation to where we are. The Psalms draw their “map” from God’s earthly home in the Old Testament, so the center of biblical geography is Jerusalem...

Going, Going, Gone

By |2020-01-29T16:08:52-05:00January 31st, 2020|

The mischievous artist Banksy pulled off another practical joke. His painting Girl with Balloon sold for one million pounds at Sotheby’s auction house in London. Moments after the auctioneer yelled “Sold,” an alarm sounded and the painting slipped halfway through a shredder mounted inside the bottom of the frame. Banksy tweeted a picture of bidders gasping at his ruined masterpiece, with the caption, “Going, going, gone...”

What You’re Worth

By |2019-12-16T09:18:38-05:00December 16th, 2019|

Now an accomplished writer, Caitlin describes the depression she battled after fighting off an assault. The emotional violence cut deeper than her physical struggle, for she felt it proved “how undesirable I was. I was not the kind of girl you wanted to get to know.” She felt unworthy of love, the kind of person others use and toss aside...

He’s Got This

By |2019-11-22T12:21:26-05:00November 26th, 2019|

Pastor Watson Jones remembers learning to ride a bike. His father was walking alongside when little Watson saw some girls sitting on a porch. “Daddy, I got this!” he said. He didn’t. He realized too late he hadn’t learned to balance without his father’s steadying grip. He wasn’t as grown up as he thought...

Live Like Jesus Is Coming

By |2019-09-23T07:50:41-04:00September 27th, 2019|

I’m inspired by country singer Tim McGraw’s song “Live Like You Were Dying.” In it he describes some of the exciting “bucket list” things a man did after receiving some bad news about his health. He also chose to love and forgive people more freely—speaking to them more tenderly. The song recommends that we live well, as if knowing our lives will end soon...