November 2020

The Initiative of God: Prevenient Grace and Justification

For many of us, the word “justification” means much the same as the word “conversion.” It is that moment in the life of a Christian when he or she believes in Christ. Particularly, it is that moment when, after confession of sin, the new Christian accepts forgiveness and becomes a child of God. That is right as far as it goes. However, the truth of justification is so much greater than that!

Justification and Christ

A Son of Abraham

Many collections of Bible stories for children that I have seen and used include the story of the short man of Jericho (Luke 19:1-9). We even sang a song that emphasized the man’s shortness. When I taught Sunday school children, their interest in Zacchaeus’ promptness to give back to others captured me.


I grew up poor in North Carolina. My mom married my dad when she was 16; I was born a year and a half later. We moved around a lot, often living in places with no air conditioning or phone service. My parents were both addicts. My mom was a blackout alcoholic, and my dad’s drug choice was heroin. They divorced when I was just three years old.