Good morning. Grace and peace to you.
Today’s Kindle deals include a good selection (as is the case with most Mondays).
(Yesterday on the blog: To Do His Will)
This is an enjoyable reflection on a fascinating biblical character.
Glenna Marshall spent some time in Proverbs this year and considers some of what she learned.
“Can something permanently disqualify someone from pastoral ministry? In this episode, Hershael York talks about the process of redemption and repentance within ministry…”
“A good friend recently got married and I was invited to his bachelor party, which in true Kentucky style consisted of shooting clay pigeons with shotguns (‘shootin’ skeet’), grilling meat, and a very large bonfire. While eating our steak and porkchops, the rest of us there – all married – were asked to share some marital wisdom with the groom-to-be.” This is good and helpful advice.
Daniel Doriani answers the questions.
Paul Tautges: “Christmas is wonderful! However, for some in our churches, it can be a very painful time of year—when memories bring the losses of the previous year (or years) to the forefront of their minds, provoking additional heartache. Therefore, one of the most helpful ways we can minister grace to hurting hearts this month is by reminding them of one of our Savior’s most precious names: Immanuel.”
A new year is just about upon us, and as it dawns, we have a new opportunity to lead our families in devotions. Whether you’ve been utterly consistent or mightily struggling, here are 10 ideas and 10 tips that may help as you consider the year to come.
Hell is not a problem. The absence of hell would be a problem. Hell is the affirmation that God is a God of justice, of fairness, of dealing with humans in a way that is right. —Dane Ortlund
You Might also like
By Tim Challies — 1 year ago
The final months of the year are typically not the best time for new book releases. However, this year we are seeing some special releases that are well worth investigating—including books by prominent theologians like Thomas Schreiner and Douglas Moo. With that in mind, here is my list of new and notable Christian books for November 2021. In each case I’ve included the editorial description.
The Joy of Hearing: A Theology of the Book of Revelation by Thomas Schreiner. “Join New Testament scholar Thomas Schreiner as he explores the meaning and purpose of the book of Revelation. The book of Revelation can feel more intimidating to read than other books of the Bible. It invites readers into a world that seems confusing and sometimes even strange: golden lampstands, seven seals, a dragon, and a rider on a white horse. But at its core, Revelation is a message of hope written to Christians facing hardship, and it’s worth the effort to read it and understand it. In this first volume in the New Testament Theology series, trusted scholar Thomas Schreiner walks step-by-step through the book of Revelation, considering its many themes—the opposition believers face from the world; the need for perseverance; God as sovereign Creator, Judge, and Savior—as well as its symbolic imagery and historical context. The Joy of Hearing brings clarity to the content and message of Revelation and explores its relevance for the church today.” (Buy it at Amazon or Westminster Books)
A Theology of Paul and His Letters by Douglas Moo. “This highly anticipated volume gives pastors, scholars, and all serious students of the New Testament exactly what they need for in-depth study and engagement with one of Christian history’s most formative thinkers and writers. A Theology of Paul and His Letters is a landmark study of the apostle’s writings by one of the world’s leading Pauline scholars Douglas J. Moo. Fifteen years in the making, this groundbreaking work is organized into three major sections: Part 1 provides an overview of the issues involved in doing biblical theology in general and a Pauline theology in particular. Here Moo also sets out the methodological issues, formative influences, and conceptual categories of Paul’s thought. Part 2 moves on to Paul’s New Testament writings, where Moo describes each Pauline letter with particular relevance to its theology. Part 3 offers a masterful synthesis of Paul’s theology under the overarching theme of the gift of the new realm in Christ. Engaging, insightful, and wise, this substantive, evangelical treatment of Paul’s theology offers extensive engagement with the latest Pauline scholarship without sacrificing its readability. This volume brings insights from over thirty years of experience studying, teaching, and writing about Paul into one comprehensive guide that will serve readers as a go-to resource for decades to come.” (Buy it at Amazon or Westminster Books)
What Jesus Did: 31 Devotions about the Life of Jesus & What Jesus Does: 31 Devotions about Jesus and the Church by Sinclair Ferguson. This is a pair of related books that tell stories. “Since before the beginning of time God has been at work. He created the world; he promised to send a saviour; and he sent his Son to die for us. With these 31 devotions and prayers you will see the impact of the life of Christ from before Creation to the Resurrection. Find out What Jesus Did through stories such as: Making Christmas Last; When Jesus Became a Refugee; and How Do I know Jesus Loves me?” As for the second book: “What is a life with Jesus like? How does the Son of God impact me? Through 31 devotions about Jesus, family and the church we discover what being friends with Jesus really means. Find out about Jesus, his friends and family, the disciples and the church through stories such as: Jesus Knows Your Name; Ready Steady Think; and Who Loves Church?” (Buy What Jesus Did at Amazon or Westminster Books; Buy What Jesus Does at Amazon or Westminster Books)
Rescue Plan: Charting a Course to Restore Prisoners of Pornography by Deepak Reju & Jonathan Holmes. “Pornography addiction is a pervasive problem—even in Christian circles—and many destructive misunderstandings surround it. If you want to help someone who has become a prisoner of this sin, you’ll need to know your enemy and the terrain on which you’ll be fighting. What makes a woman’s encounter with pornography different from a man’s, and how do you counsel her? What guidance do you give a struggler who is currently dating—or married? How can you help a parent who has discovered that their young child has been exposed to porn? Rescue Plan draws on the research and experience of two biblical counselors, giving concrete information and helping you to shape an effective plan of attack for strugglers in these diverse circumstances. Although it can stand alone, Rescue Plan pairs with Rescue Skills, also by Reju and Holmes, for maximum effectiveness. Together these two books show how to develop and execute a comprehensive plan for fighting pornography addiction in a wide range of situations.” (Buy it at Amazon or Westminster Books)
Rescue Skills: Essential Skills for Restoring the Sexually Broken by Deepak Reju & Jonathan Holmes. “Do you know someone who is struggling with sexual addiction? Unfortunately, given our hypersexualized culture and the accessibility of pornography, it’s likely that you do. Recovery is a difficult journey—one that none should take alone. How can you help? In this practical handbook, counselors Deepak Reju and Jonathan Holmes provide a treasure trove of straightforward, biblical strategies for guiding a fellow believer—male or female, old or young—toward recovery. You’ll learn how to listen well, develop a plan, encourage good accountability, provide support during relapses, and, by God’s grace, keep your friend focused on Christ throughout. The conversations may be uncomfortable, but this is a matter of eternal importance! Although it can stand alone, Rescue Skills pairs with Rescue Plan, also by Reju and Holmes, for maximum effectiveness. Together these two books show how to develop and execute a comprehensive plan for fighting pornography addiction in a wide range of circumstances.” (Buy it at Amazon or Westminster Books)
The Trial of the 16th Century: Calvin & Servetus by Jonathan Moorhead. “The execution of Michael Servetus (1511-53) is one of the most debated events in the life of John Calvin (1509-1564). It has left an indelible stain on Calvin’s reputation, and unfortunately, the retelling of the story is often dependent on the historian’s relationship to Calvinism. Jonathan Moorhead here seeks to give a faithful narrative of the role of John Calvin in the execution of Michael Servetus. He examines the life of Servetus, with emphasis given to his education, publications, and relationship with John Calvin. Moorhead also gives attention to the role of Calvin in Servetus’ arrests, trials, and execution. Understanding the extent of Calvin’s power in Geneva at the time of the trial is critical to understanding the events, as is the context of executing heretics throughout history, and in particular, in the 16th Century. This book will challenge readers to think critically about the ethics of telling history, the standards of properly judging previous generations, and the benefits of this study for the building up of the Body of Christ.” (Buy it at Amazon or Westminster Books)
More Than A Story: Old Testament & More Than A Story: New Testament by Sally Michaels. I’ll provide the description for the NT version and allow you to figure out what the OT one is about. “More Than a Story: New Testament is a new kind of Bible resource for children (ages 6-12)—taking them on a chronological journey through the Bible with a God-centered, gospel-focused, discipleship-oriented, theologically grounded perspective. The glorious account of the birth of God’s Son and the sobering account of Jesus’ death on the cross; bread and fish multiplied to feed 5,000 and living water offered to a Samaritan woman; Jesus preaching openly and the Pharisees plotting secretly; a crowd singing praises in the streets and an angry mob calling for crucifixion; a blind man receives his sight and a persecutor of the church is blinded by light; an apostle is freed from prison and another is put in chains – the pages of this book are filled with stories from the Bible, all of them absolutely and eternally true, telling one grand story. More than a storybook, this 346-page book displays Christ’s manifold character as well as His glorious deeds, righteous commands, sure promises, severe warnings, and gracious plan of redemption. Though the Bible is full of stories, it is MORE THAN A STORY. It is the authoritative Word of God that, throughout its pages, proclaims and magnifies the majestic character of God, His work in this world, and His plan of redemption for sinful men through His Son, Jesus.” (Buy the OT volume at Amazon or Westminster Books; Buy the NT volume at Westminster Books)
After Emmaus: How the Church Fulfills the Mission of Christ by Brian Tabb. “Did the Old Testament simply point to the coming of Christ and his saving work, or is there more to the story? After his resurrection, the Lord Jesus revealed how his suffering, glory, and mission plan for the nations are in fact central to the biblical story of redemption. After Emmaus shows how Christology and missiology are integrally connected throughout Scripture, especially in the teaching of Jesus and the apostles. Brian Tabb explains what Luke 24:46–47 reveals about God’s messianic promises in the Old Testament, their fulfillment in the New Testament, and the purpose of the church. By understanding Jesus’s last words to his disciples, Christians today will be motivated to participate in the Messiah’s mission.” (Buy it at Amazon)
By Tim Challies — 9 months ago
Those who like to read to little ones will want to check out this sale from Westminster Books on the Big Theology for Little Hearts series.
Overcoming Doctrinal Pride
“There is one specific kind of undiscerned spiritual pride that I think is not often discussed and is especially hard to recognize—the danger of doctrinal righteousness. Sadly, I think it’s a particularly prevalent danger among Reformed, theologically-minded Christians. It’s a danger I have fallen into at times.” You should probably read this one.
Humans Come in Only Two Sexes
“Up until the last few seconds of human history, it was collectively accepted that sex is binary. People are born either male or female. Not so today.” This is so simple, yet so hotly debated. We especially need to assure the younger generations of the simple fact that there are but two sexes.
Gun Control and the Right to Bear Arms
A couple of weeks ago TGC sponsored the blog to tell about their forthcoming “Good Faith Debates.” The first of those debates is now live and it makes for very interesting viewing. It covers gun control. No matter your position on this, it’s likely to be sharpened by hearing a robust defense of the opposite position.
9 Myths about Abortion Rights and Roe v. Wade
Kevin DeYoung dusts off an older article to remind people of some common myths related to abortion and Roe v Wade. (See also: Samuel James’ Receiving Justice with Gratitude.)
A Church of Suspicious Minds
I really appreciate this article from Trevin Wax’s blog. “Suspicion takes a wrong turn when we filter everything and everyone through the lens of distrust, always on a quest to discover an ulterior motive. This is one of postmodernism’s most pernicious effects—a hermeneutic of suspicion that claims every proposal or position is just a power play in disguise. Even deeds that appear altruistic must be tainted somehow by the lust for power.”
Hope has to be learned
“I’m going to let you in on a secret that I’m only getting to grips with myself, it’s simple, but oddly revolutionary: hope is an action. We learn it.” It changes our understanding of hope to see it as an action!
Flashback: What Makes a Sermon Difficult To Listen To
Recently, and largely for my own purposes, I found myself thinking about some of the elements that can make a sermon difficult to listen to. Having jotted them down, I thought I’d share them with you.
It is expedient that you should pass under the cross to inherit the crown. —Thomas Watson
By Tim Challies — 1 year ago
Win the Gear that Asks A Question Your Student will be Equipped to Answer.
Every student who attends the 2022 Renown Youth Conference, hosted by Boyce College, will learn how to answer the question “What is the Gospel?” Enter our drawing and your student may win sweet gear that poses that probative question to others.
Boyce College is giving away a NorthFace backpack, two Carhartt duffle bags, and three Renown mugs. Each is emblazoned with the theme of this year’s Renown Youth Conference, “What is the Gospel?” When others read the question on that gear, your student will get trained during Renown to provide the answer that echoes through eternity!
Click this link to register for the Free Gear Giveaway and to purchase, at a special Challies discount, tickets to the Renown Youth Conference, March 11-12, 2022 at Boyce College in Louisville, KY.