Christian Apologist, Reformed theologian writer at Triablogue has passed away.
Wow . . . Steve was only a couple of years older than me. I was always amazed at the amount of material Steve wrote at Triablogue, and also at the logic and Biblical content and also at his vocabulary. I praise God for his faith and writings and testimony he gave for the glory of the Triune God.
In Steve’s atricles (at Triablogue), I had to look up many words of his articles (praise God for google and that hovering thingy that gives definitions) and many times I had to read several times to even understand what he was saying, because he was so smart and I am pretty slow in grasping a lot of his material. Many of his articles I would start and give up because of time and they were just over my head intellectually.
We started emailing a few years ago and he was always gracious and insightful in answering my questions. He also had a warm heart of counsel on some issues that sometimes one may not think he has if they only read some of his articles, especially the way he skewered people in debate – those that he disagreed with. But he was very balanced and wise. As I was asking him more and more questions by email a few months ago (maybe a year ?), he confided in me that had terminal cancer, and asked me not to share that with anyone, and he wrote, “if you have any more questions, ask away because my time on this earth is short”; so I am not shocked at this news, but of course I am very sad, and cried some. I was amazed at how he kept responding to my questions by email and took so much time to help me personally. I was also amazed at how long he kept up and kept writing and was cogent, clear, logical, to the point, and still writing even up until a few days ago. That was really amazing – I think his last post was on June 3 !!!!
Over the last year or many months, I was amazed that he kept going in writing at Triablogue these months and I prayed for him and his pain – he never dwelt on himself and wrote something like (by email to me) “we all have to deal with dying”; and “it is the great reality”. He seemed really brave to me in dealing with death and pain.
I told him to make sure all his writings here are preserved. We will will all miss him and his intellect.
I looked at his Facebook and the tributes there of his closer friends, and this quote of Steve’s (shared by Peter Pike, another Triablogue writer) brought me to tears and a few minutes of crying this morning. If you have a lost a loved one, especially a child or a spouse; this was really powerful and ministered to me. Steve’s words minister to us even after he is gone on to be with the Lord.
“The more precious the thing you lose, the more you suffer the loss. But it’s better to lose something worthwhile then never having anything worthwhile to lose in the first place. And it’s better to suffer the loss of a greater good than to suffer the loss of a lesser good. Even though you suffer less or hardly at all, you miss out on the experience of having had the greater good. Many people lead wretched lives from start to finish. They never had the blessing of something precious to begin with.”
Again, this is powerful for anyone who has suffered the loss of a child or spouse or something as precious as those.
My tears are flowing more as I read this quote again.
So wonderful to be “in Christ”. I don’t see how unbelievers make it mentally and emotionally in this world. We can grieve, but we grieve in a different way from unbelievers. (see 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians chapter 15; and Romans chapter 8) Like Steve, we who have believed in Christ as Lord, Messiah, Savior from sin; the one, the unique eternal Son (John 1:1-5; 1:14; John 17:5), who became human for our salvation (Philippians 2:5-8; John 1:14), was crucified, dead, buried, and rose from the dead with power and gave many convincing proofs (Acts 1:1-3) and who ascended to heaven and now sits at the right hand of the Father, who intercedes for His people that He has purchased with His blood (1 John 1:5-2:2; Revelation 5; 7) – we have the only true hope and we can face death because of Christ. As R. C. Sproul once said, “Because of Christ and His grace in saving me, I am not afraid of death (that point of passing from this world into the next), but I am afraid of the process of dying.” (if slow, painful, nursing home, etc.) [ My own paraphrase and adaptation of his words.]
For those of us who are “in Christ”, saved by grace alone, justified by faith alone, we have, in the words of Jesus, “passed out of judgment into eternal life” (John 5:24) and in the words of the apostle Paul, “there is now no condemnation (no wrath, no judgement) for those who are in Christ Jesus”. Romans 8:1
As long as you are alive, there is still time to repent and trust in Christ. Hebrews 9:27 – “for it is appointed to mankind once to die, and then comes the judgement”
Steve dealt with that process courageously over the past year. Christ gave Him that courage and that spiritual strength.
Steve is enjoying fellowship with the Lord now in heaven.
“Oh death, where is your sting?”
“Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ”
I Corinthians 15