Good day my friends!
Chris Martin ponders Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter. “If you find yourself jumping for joy or drowning in tears amid Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter, maybe you should be a bit more concerned about what this says about you than what Musk could mean for Twitter.”
Does God change his mind? This article from Ligonier answers the question well.
I enjoyed this glimpse of a far-off part of the world. “Gornaya Maevka—Mountain Gathering—is a village neighboring the Tien Shan Mountains. It’s a space where snow almost blinds you and a lack of cars makes you feel deaf, a town far too disorienting for its modest size. It’s mostly made up of vacant summer homes, lined in such a way that only locals can really navigate it.”
This is a sweet meditation on usefulness in our final years.
The latest issue of Themelios has 229 pages of editorials, articles, and book reviews for you to read for free.
Rebekah Matt writes about thank you notes, but about a lot more as well.
As Christianity Today says, “Despite a new wave of contemporary church buzzwords like relational, relevant, and intentional, people who show up on Sundays are looking for the same thing that has long anchored most services: preaching centered on the Bible.” Praise God.
Sorrow and tears for sin are never right until they are like floods of water to drive us to Christ. —Christopher Love
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By Tim Challies — 10 months ago
Good morning. May the Lord bless and keep you today.
There are a few new Kindle deals to look at, and possibly a few more in the morning.
Logos users will want to check out this month’s free and nearly-free books. They might also be interested in this new series edited by D.A. Carson.
(Yesterday on the blog: Moments With My Father (and My Son))
What Does It Mean for the Saints to Judge Angels?
“What makes the passage so surprising is Paul seems to assume his readers are already aware of their role in the final judgment. He twice asks the rhetorical question, ‘Do you not know?’ And yet, if it weren’t for this very passage, how many Christians today would know? What exactly does it mean that we will judge the world and the angels? What else does the Bible have to say about this? And what does this mean for us practically today?”
7 Characteristics of Good Bible Teachers
Doug Eaton: “Teaching scripture is a spiritual gift, but it is also a skill. This means that not everyone is called to be a teacher; it also means just because someone is gifted does not mean they do not need to improve their skills. Several things come into play that impacts the quality of teaching.”
Kinda Like God Who Sees All We Do
Sylvia Schroeder draws a similarity between an aspect of life and the God who sees all we do.
“In the realm of the theological sciences, no subject is as difficult to navigate as that of Old and New Testament textual criticism.” That being the case, Nick Batzig offers some counsel on understanding and preaching them well.
Being The Bad Guy
“At our house, I’ve always been the bad guy,” says Seth Lewis.
Giving in Retirement
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a discussion of this topic before. “In this article, I’ll pose some questions you can answer for yourself to help you make important decisions about giving based on your situation and convictions.”
Flashback: When Unanimity is the Enemy of Unity
I have often wondered if we demand unanimity where unity would be not only sufficient but also superior. I have often wondered if unanimity is the enemy of Christian unity. Allow me to explain.
If thou wouldst thus leave thy heart with God on the Saturday night, thou shouldst find it with Him in the Lord’s Day morning. —George Swinnock
By Tim Challies — 10 months ago
The Lord bless and keep you today.
(Yesterday on the blog: What Can God Do With Broken Hearts?)
Turning Toward Light
Andrea Sanborn: “Pessimism is my soul’s default setting. Even when life is filled with blessing, melancholy has always been my temperament’s natural course. As a result, it has been the work of my Christian life to turn away from the darkness and look up, look away, notice beauty and give thanks. ”
Pray for Jennifer
I frequently link to Jennifer Myhre’s blog. (You may know her from her excellent books for kids where she is credited as J.A. Myhre). Her husband recently posted on it that she was in a terrible accident and is in need of prayer.
Kanye the Pious
I found this an interesting look at Kanye, his new album, and his critics. “If you were to read half-a-dozen reviews of Kanye West’s latest album, Donda — and I recommend that you don’t —you would learn chiefly that West is a bad person. He’s a bad person for associating with social undesirables; he’s a bad person for supporting Donald Trump; he’s a bad person for hosting album release parties; he’s a bad person because he’s a navel-gazing egomaniac with suspect spirituality; he’s even a bad person for learning how to value women from his experience of having daughters.”
The Roman Catholic Call to Confusion
Keith Mathison: “What Protestants should understand is that once a person accepts the philosophical principles of skepticism, there is no certainty anywhere, and the choice to convert to Roman Catholicism can no longer possibly be a rational choice. At best it can only be an irrational leap of faith, but that leap has no more rational grounds than any other leap – be it into Mormonism or the cult of Jim Jones. The Kool-Aid is the same.”
A Critical Theorist Worth Reading
I benefitted from reading Carl Trueman’s review of a book by a critical theorist.
God Cares for Every Christian More than You Know
I expect that many of us could use this reminder. “When we think of others in the Christian community, we are to realise that we are like little children. We are all dependant on God for our salvation. Even the most capable and respected among us are forgiven sinners, so we need to view others in the church as our brothers and sisters, our equals in God’s sight.”
Flashback: What’s the Purpose of … Marriage?
The highest purpose of marriage is to display to the world the sacrificial love of Christ for his bride, the church.
…the battle for our Sundays is usually won or lost on the foregoing Saturday night, when time should be set aside for self-examination, confession and prayer for the coming day. —J.I. Packer
By Tim Challies — 9 months ago
A skillful poet once imagined Adam’s first evening in the Garden of Eden. He described the scene as Adam began to notice that the sun was sinking toward the horizon, that the shadows were growing long, that the light was getting dim. The first day was becoming the first night and Adam didn’t know what to expect—he had only ever known daylight. The poet imagined that as evening turned to dusk and as dusk faded into twilight, Adam might have assumed that darkness would pull a black veil across all the wonders of creation.
But Adam should not have been concerned. Here is what the poet says:
Yet ’neath a curtain of translucent dew,Bathed in the rays of the great setting Flame,Hesperus [Venus] with the Host of Heaven came,And lo! Creation widened on Man’s view.
When the light faded and the skies went dark, Adam learned that darkness did not actually conceal his view of creation but revealed it all the more because it unveiled the beauty of the night sky. The same sun that had opened Adam’s eyes to the flowers and trees, the birds and fish, had blinded his eyes to the stars and planets, the galaxies and constellations. It had to be dark for Adam to truly see.
Jesus once said something that sounds every bit as counter-intuitive: “Blessed are those who mourn.” He pronounced divine favor upon those whose souls have been saddened, God’s own approval upon those whose hearts have been broken. The path to joy does not avoid sorrow, according to Jesus, but leads directly through it. But not just any sorrow will do. Joy comes to those who experience a particular kind of sorrow—a deep remorse over their depraved hearts and defiled hands.
Such broken-hearted people stand in stark contrast to those who surround them. Each of us will some day be laid to rest in a cemetery, each of our lives encapsulated in the little dash that sits between the date of our birth and the date of our death. And so many are content to spend that brief threescore and ten mocking God and pursuing carnal pleasure, rejoicing in the things he hates and abhorring the things he loves. Nero sparked a fire that would consume his city, then laughed and played as he watched it all burn. And just so, the people of the kingdom of this world have set their lives ablaze and now watch with delight as they are consumed by it. “Eat, drink, and be merry, laugh and pursue every pleasure, for tomorrow we die.”
The blessings of this world are upon the mockers and laughers. “Blessed are those who are happy and who enjoy nothing but pleasure; blessed are those who are unfettered to pursue every desire of their hearts; blessed are those who are most authentically themselves and answer to no one else; blessed are those who laugh from the cradle to the grave.” Such is the benediction of the kingdom of this world.
But the blessing of the kingdom of heaven is upon those who have been deeply saddened. Blessed are those who mourn their sin, for they shall be comforted. Content are those who are aggrieved by their iniquity, for they shall be consoled. Happy are those who are sad that they are evil-doers, for their tears shall be dried. Joyful are those who are downcast over their rebellion, for they shall be raised up. The favor of God is upon those whose eyes are awash with tears, whose lives have been shattered, whose hearts have been broken—broken by their sin and sinfulness.
Just like the sun needed to set and the light needed to fade before Adam could see the glories of the heavens opened up before him, those who want to know spiritual light must first know spiritual darkness. To know the hand of comfort we need to know the pain of sorrow. To know the bright light of God’s blessing we must first know the dark shadow of our own depravity. For it is only when we admit who we truly are that God reveals what he truly loves to do, only when we admit ourselves to be lost that reveals himself as the one who saves.
Inspired by In Green Pastures by J.R. Miller