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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.

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...

Tight Circles

By |2019-09-11T13:52:17-04:00August 31st, 2019|

A classmate gave my family a registered collie that had become too old to breed puppies. We soon learned this beautiful dog had, sadly, spent much of her life inside a small pen. She would only walk in tight circles. She couldn’t fetch or run in a straight line. And even with a large yard in which to play, she thought she was fenced in...

Lincoln’s Pockets

By |2019-08-12T17:12:31-04:00August 15th, 2019|

The night US president Abraham Lincoln was shot at Ford’s Theater in 1865, his pockets contained the following: two spectacles, a lens polisher, a pocketknife, a watch fob, a handkerchief, a leather wallet containing a five-dollar Confederate bill, and eight newspaper clippings, including several that praised him and his policies...

All for Nothing

By |2019-07-25T13:38:02-04:00July 29th, 2019|

Heroin addiction is poignantly tragic. Users build tolerance, so larger hits are required for the same high. Soon the dosage they seek is more than enough to kill them. When addicts hear someone has died from an exceptionally strong batch, their first thought may not be fear but “Where can I get that..?”

Wise Aid

By |2019-07-15T12:18:35-04:00July 18th, 2019|

As I stopped my car at a red light, I saw the same man standing beside the road again. He held a cardboard sign: Need money for food. Anything helps. I looked away and sighed. Was I the kind of person who ignored the needy? Some people pretend to have needs but are actually con artists. Others have legitimate needs but face difficulties overcoming destructive habits...

Your Eulogy

By |2019-06-21T12:08:09-04:00June 26th, 2019|

My heart is full from attending the funeral of a faithful woman. Her life wasn’t spectacular. She wasn’t known widely outside her church, neighbors, and friends. But she loved Jesus, her seven children, and her twenty-five grandchildren. She laughed easily, served generously, and could hit a softball a long way. Ecclesiastes says, “It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting” (7:2)...

Minister of Loneliness

By |2019-04-29T14:06:46-04:00May 10th, 2019|

Following her husband’s death, Betsy has spent most days in her flat, watching television and boiling tea for one. She’s not alone in her loneliness. More than nine million Brits (15 percent of the population) say they often or always feel lonely, and Great Britain has appointed a minister of loneliness to find out why and how to help. Some causes of loneliness are well known: We move too often to put down roots.

Serving the Smallest

By |2019-04-18T14:40:16-04:00April 24th, 2019|

The video showed a man kneeling beside a busy freeway during an out-of-control brush fire. He was clapping his hands and pleading with something to come. What was it? A dog? Moments later a bunny hopped into the picture. The man scooped up the scared rabbit and sprinted to safety. How did the rescue of such a small thing make national news? That’s why. There’s something endearing about compassion shown to the least of these. It takes a big heart to make room for the smallest creature...

When You’re Not Chosen

By |2019-03-01T11:29:28-04:00March 5th, 2019|

My friend’s Facebook post announced he had finished a project. Others congratulated him, but his post knifed my heart. That project was supposed to be mine. I had been passed over, and I wasn’t sure why. Poor Joseph. He was passed over by God, and he knew why. Joseph was one of two men in the running to replace Judas. The disciples prayed, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart...

Living in God’s Story

By |2019-02-20T16:39:35-04:00February 23rd, 2019|

Ernest Hemingway was asked if he could write a compelling story in six words. His response: “For sale: Baby shoes. Never worn.” Hemingway’s story is powerful because it inspires us to fill in the details. Were the shoes simply not needed by a healthy child? Or was there a tragic loss—something requiring God’s deep love and comfort..?