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Dec. 20, 2015 (Sunday evening)
I am writing to let you know that on Wednesday I saw my family doctor (Dr. Stephen Hoshiwara) with some puzzling symptoms, and he suspected Parkinson’s disease. He referred me to a neurologist (Dr. Nida Laurin), and on Friday, Dec. 18, she confirmed that I definitely have Parkinson’s disease.
This is a progressive neurological disorder for which there is no known cure, but there are medicines that alleviate the symptoms and may slow the progress of the disease. Dr. Laurin started me on one medicine (Rasagiline, made by an Israeli company) that helps some patients and not others. She did not think my symptoms were severe enough to start me on the most common medicine (dopamine), because its effectiveness diminishes over time and she did not want to start it too early.
Starting tomorrow (Monday), we will begin the process of seeking an appointment at Barrow Neurological Institute, which is (according to Wikipedia) “the world’s largest neurological disease treatment and research institution,” and is here in Phoenix.
The symptoms that I have now include a diminishing of fine motor control, so that my handwriting is less legible and more crowded together, and in typing I sometimes hit a key twice or not at all, and my mouse control is not as precise with the computer. It’s also harder to button my shirts, and I sometimes feel a tiny tremor when I reach for things. I can still do all these things, but they are a bit slower and take more concentration. In addition, I seem to be moving my arms and legs more slowly in ordinary daily activities. And Margaret says that sometimes my facial expression seems a bit “fallen,” and I notice that it’s harder to smile. In recent photos my smile has not seemed as genuine or natural, but more forced.
The symptoms and the rate of progression of the disease very widely from patient to patient, and are apparently impossible to predict. Sometimes the progression is very slow, as with Billy Graham who has had Parkinson’s for 26 years (he is now 96). Michael J. Fox also has Parkinson’s, and has continued to function. In other people, however, the disease progresses more quickly.
How are we doing? Margaret has been a wonderful help and encouragement, and she keeps reminding me that “we’re in this together.” She is an amazing, most wonderful wife.
We both feel a deep peace from the Lord about this. King David said to the Lord, “My times are in your hand” (Ps. 31:15), and I truly feel that way. Parkinson’s usually does not shorten a person’s life expectancy very much, but in any case, I’m happy to live as long as the Lord wills that I live, and to keep on being productive for as long as he enables me to do so. “In your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them” (Ps. 139:16).
But I would like, if God allows, to finish my current major writing projects –
(1) a textbook on Christian ethics (which I hope will take me about one more year to finish after the first draft is done, or until Jan., 2017), and
(2) a revised edition of my book Systematic Theology (this should take from 2017 to 2019).
After that, I was sort of wondering what I was going to do anyway. 🙂
I do plan to continue to teach at Phoenix Seminary, so long as I am able to teach effectively. (The seminary will be moving in July, 2017, to a new location in a new building to be built on the site of the old Scottsdale Bible Church chapel on Shea Boulevard – just 12 minutes from our house!)
Here are some other verses which the Lord has brought to my mind a number of times in the last year, and which seem especially appropriate now:
“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom” (Psa 90:12). (I need to be a wise steward of my remaining days.)
“For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep” (Acts 13:36). (All I want to do is to serve the purpose of God for me in my generation.)
“And say to Archippus, “See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.” (Col 4:17).
This last verse has been especially forceful in my mind for the last year or so – I deeply want to “fulfill the ministry that [I] have received in the Lord,” which I understand to be the ethics textbook and the Systematic Theology revision.
Then on a personal level, I am concerned to make wise plans so that Margaret will be well cared for if the time should come when I am unable to work and to help with ordinary tasks.
Other verses that have become more meaningful in the last two days:
But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself (Phil. 3:20). (My hope of a perfect, Christ-like, resurrection body is even stronger now.)
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison (2 Cor. 4:16). (Parkinson’s is a “light momentary affliction” in the light of eternity.)
Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever (Psalm 73:25). (My personal fellowship with God is far more precious than any measure of physical health, and I deeply and truly feel that right now.)
If you think of it, I would appreciate your prayers for the projects I mentioned above, and for continuing good medical care, and also, if the Lord wills, for partial or full healing, whether through medicine or through his miraculous intervention. I am at peace.
(nothing in this letter is confidential)
The Eighth Commandment, “You shall not steal,” has massive implications for human life on earth. Exodus 20:15 provides the necessary foundation for system of private ownership of property, of stewardship and accountability, and of an expectation of human flourishing. This article also argues that “business as mission” is a legitimate calling and that founding and running a profitable and ethical business glorifies God.
Wayne Grudem at the Watchmen on the Wall Conference in Washington DC, a conference for pastors and church leaders sponsored by the Family Research Council (June 21, 2015)
“Why, When, and For What Should We Draw New Boundaries?” in Beyond the Bounds: Open Theism and the Undermining of Biblical Christianity, edited by John Piper, Justin Taylor, and Paul Helseth (Wheaton: Crossway, 2003), pp. 339-370. Used by permission of Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org. Download for personal use only. Why, When, and for What2
An Analysis of William J. Webb, Slaves, Women & Homosexuals: Exploring the Hermeneutics of Cultural Analysis (Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2001).
By Wayne Grudem, Phoenix Seminary, Scottsdale, AZ Presented Nov. 19, 2003 at ETS 55th Annual Meeting, Atlanta, Georgia
How can Christians today know which parts of the Bible are “culturally relative” and which parts apply to all believers in all cultures throughout history?
According to the Christian Booksellers Association, the NIV is the best-selling Bible in English—ahead of the King James Version, the New King James Version, the New Living translation, the English Standard Version, the New American Standard, and several others.
But now Zondervan, the publisher of the NIV, has issued a new edition, the 2011 NIV. This edition will replace the current NIV (the 1984 edition). What is this new edition like? (Wayne Grudem was a consultant on this article, which was published by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.)
edited by Norman Nevin (Nottingham, UK: IVP, 2009)
The main reason my wife, Margaret, and I sent our children to our local Christian school was a conviction that Scripture directs Christian parents to give their children a Bible-based education whenever they have opportunity to do so. I have listed here six biblical principles which we found very persuasive.
Many of us thought that Christian Heritage Academy began in September of 1982, when five couples met at the home of Jim and Linda Lindberg in Lincolnshire, Illinois, to discuss the possibility of starting a Christian school in the north suburban Chicago area. But later we discovered that, in a way unknown to us, the school had begun long before that in the unseen work of God.
Research Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies, Phoenix Seminary, Phoenix, Arizona
[published as: “Why It Is Never Right to Lie: An Example of John Frame’s Influence on My Approach to Ethics,” in Speaking the Truth in Love: The Theology of John Frame (Festschrift for John Frame), edited by John J. Hughes (Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R, 2009), pp. 778-801]
BRIEF OF AMICI CURIAE EVANGELICAL SCHOLARS (OFFICERS AND 24 FORMER PRESIDENTS OF THE EVANGELICAL THEOLOGICAL SOCIETY), EVANGELICALS FOR SOCIAL ACTION, AND NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF EVANGELICALS, IN SUPPORT OF PETITIONER (Wayne Grudem was the primary author of the drafts which were reviewed and corrected by several lawyers and which then resulted in this brief.)