Drawing Near

A Pastoral Perspective on Biblical, Theological, & Cultural Issues | The Personal Website of James B. Law, Ph.D.

Yearly Archive: 2017



September 2017



Suing Saints

Written by , Posted in Church Life, Faith & Culture

Image of LawsuitsI did a lot of highway travel this summer and have been amazed by the glut of attorney advertisements along the interstates of this fruited plain. I began to think that if I were a visitor from another country (or another planet), and I was trying to determine what was important in this culture, billboards and television commercials would indicate that having an aggressive attorney is one of the most important resources that I could have.

We live in a lawsuit-crazed culture where advertisements for attorney services appeal to your right to file a suit against another. The appeals are incredible, and at times shameful:

“Have you got your check yet?”

“I love my lawyer!”

“After you have been injured, there’s only one place to turn…”

“I will fight for you!”

An attorney is often the first person someone calls after any scrape or conflict. Without question, there are times and circumstances when we need an attorney, but for the Christian there are many things to consider with regard to lawsuits, especially when it pertains to another believer. (more…)



August 2017



Massah and Meribah: Living a Thankful Life in a Grumbling World

Written by , Posted in Devotional, Uncategorized

Grumbling Man ImageIngratitude is one of the official symptoms of this age. In fact, ingratitude made the noxious list of behavior that characterizes living in the last days (2 Timothy 3:2-4). We are warned in Scripture that ungrateful hearts are often unbelieving hearts. That was certainly true of ancient Israel in the days of the wilderness wanderings. In the book of Exodus, we follow the account of Israel’s miraculous deliverance from Egypt where God’s power was demonstrated uniquely in world history. (Exodus 1-14)

Through mighty power God delivered His enslaved people and brought them out of bondage to pursue a new life in a Promised Land. Even though Israel had seen the unparalleled might of these liberating miracles, and even though they had tasted of the provision of the Lord day-after-day, they still did not trust God to meet their needs en route to this new homeland.

One major spinout is recorded in Exodus 17 where Israel erupted with gripes over their circumstances. Panic gripped the people over the shortage of water, and instead of trusting the God who had parted the Red Sea to secure their deliverance, the nation grumbled and complained. The text says they put the Lord to the test and quarreled with Him.

In response, Moses put new names on the map to identify this location as a place of national failure. Massah (testing) and Meribah (quarreling, grumbling) would mark the spot of a major attitude problem that would bear terrible consequences. On this occasion Israel tested the Lord, “Massah,” and from that appalling attitude flowed grumbling and quarrelling with God, “Meribah.” Psalm 81:7 and Deuteronomy 33:8 suggest that God was testing the Israelites in these instances, and so God’s tests were met with severe grumbling. The Psalmist gives a vivid descriptor when he wrote, “They murmured in their tents, and did not obey the voice of the LORD.” (Psalm 106:25) (more…)



July 2017



Reflections on Another Birthday

Written by , Posted in Uncategorized

Independence Day has been a special holiday for me no doubt because of childhood memories as it came a day before my birthday. Those early years of my life were marked by special memories of sparklers, fireworks, cookouts, swimming, and birthday cake.  As I grow older, the 4th of July is special for different reasons.

Yesterday we celebrated the 241st anniversary of the United States of America. We should be grateful for the manifold blessings that God has poured out upon this country. The freedoms we enjoy to pursue life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is the envy of many in this world.

Our nation’s history is not perfect. There is no golden age we can claim. Our legacy while amazing in the history of human civilizations is not a clean legacy, but this only underscores a biblical worldview that every nation needs the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. We need the King of Kings to reign over us, and we long for the day when the governments and nations of this world will bow before their rightful Lord. Until then, our charge is clear in making known the unsearchable riches of Christ.

Eric Metaxas commented this week, “To love your country doesn’t mean to agree with all the bad stuff, but it means to praise it for the good stuff.” Indeed, we have many things for which to be thankful, and perhaps at the top of the list is a religious liberty that should be used by the church for the spread of the Gospel.  Regularly I am reminded of this liberty when I ascend the steps to my pulpit on the Lord’s Day. I thank God for the privilege of leading worship openly and unmolested by government. I know that it is not a given that it will always be this way, and I also know it is not that way elsewhere. (more…)