Tim Challies

A La Carte (December 7)

May the God of love and peace be with you on this fine day.

At Westminster Books this week you can get a deal on Richard Gamble’s massive three-volume series on the whole counsel of God.
(Yesterday on the blog: What Matters Is Not the Size of Your Faith)
Stop Binding Consciences And Marking Spirituality By Christmas Celebrations
This is a good and necessary reminder. “Christmas is not in the Bible. You don’t have to do it and you don’t have to avoid it either. We are entirely free. Your spiritual temperature is not determined by whether you celebrate Christmas or not. Neither does your love for Jesus depend on whether you manage to make Jesus the absolute epicentre of your celebration, with every bauble reflecting gospel truth, or you just enjoy having a nice time and give thanks to God for it like you would any other enjoyable thing. None of it, really, tells you very much about your love for Christ.”
The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife Fiasco
If you’ve never read about the fiasco related to Jesus’ supposed wife, this article may be of interest. (Also consider reading the book Veritas which offers far more detail).
Bethlehem’s Supernatural Star
This is a helpful thought from John Piper: “I risk a generalization to warn you: people who are exercised and preoccupied with such things, as how the star worked and how the Red Sea split and how the manna fell and how Jonah survived the fish and how the moon turns to blood, are generally people who have what I call a mentality for the marginal.”
The Most Miserable Time of the Year
Sticking with the Christmas theme, here’s Al Gooderham on getting Christmas wrong. “Yes our world so often loses Jesus in the suffocating press of the tinsel and gifts and experiences and meals. But what if we had too? What if instead of haranguing society and preaching a gospel that seems to be dead against joy we showed them what they were missing?”
Who Wrote Hebrews? Exploring a New Testament Mystery
Here’s a fairly lengthy look at one of those age-old mysteries.
The Life of Naomi and How Adversity Disguises God at Work
Deborah McQuilkin: “My life as a Christian is not what I expected. In fact, at one point I said to God, ‘Is this worth it? Thirty years I have followed you as closely as possible, and this is how it turns out? Should I just leave you now? What is the point?’ Shock and disappointment filled my heart and I wondered what my life meant.”
Flashback: Sexual Revolution, Same Old Revolution
Today we are watching people all around us revolt away from justice, away from truth, away from common sense, away from the common good. The revolution rages around us and sometimes within us.

Shaky preaching tends to make shaky Christians. —Theodore Cuyler

Would You Consider Becoming a Patron?

I have been blogging at Challies.com on a daily basis for just over 18 years now. That long commitment has allowed me to write thousands of articles and hundreds of book reviews while also sending millions of visitors to other sites through the daily A La Carte feature. While I have also written a number of books and filmed quite a lot of videos, the blog has always remained the “main thing.” Over the past few years much of the site’s content has also been translated to Spanish and other languages—a fact that brings me great joy.

One of my great desires through this time has been to freely give away as much as possible. I intend for it to always remain entirely free for all who visit. While for obvious reasons I cannot give away my books, I’ve made it my goal to ensure that just about everything else has been freely and widely distributed. This has been possible largely because of advertisers. However, as the internet continues to develop and the advertising market continues to shift, this is no longer quite as easy as it once was. Similarly, affiliate programs are generally becoming weaker, not stronger, over time.
This is where patrons come in. Patreon provides a means of linking content producers (like me) with supporters (like you). I believe a model like this is key to a sustainable path into the future for sites like mine.
To that end, just about once a year I like to ask those who regularly read this site to prayerfully consider supporting me by becoming a patron. By supporting me with even a very modest monthly gift, you will be able to be part of this ongoing work. Funds donated will be used to support my family and to help create great content or to otherwise improve, support, and enhance Challies.com. In one way or another they will all be used to allow me to continue to do what I have been doing for these past 18 years.
Please understand that I intend for Challies.com to always remain entirely free. In fact, patrons help ensure that it always remains that way.
Thank you for considering becoming a patron of Challies.com. Your support means so much to me.
(I’m also sometimes asked about one-time gifts. If that is of interest to you, they can be forwarded by PayPal or by check to the mailing address listed here.)

Your Free Devotional from Trained Pastors Around the World

This week the blog is sponsored by The Master’s Academy International (TMAI).

As you come into God’s presence each day, may you be reminded that He’s at work among the nations.
To help you with that, Declaring His Glory Among the Nations is yours to enjoy for free from The Master’s Academy International—a global training ministry that began at the request of local pastors around the world.
Request your free copy today. Available to U.S. address only.
The Origins of TMAI
When the Soviet Union finally collapsed 30 years ago, a group of Christians in Ukraine used their freedom to contact John MacArthur. 
Many of these men were pastors, and several of them had spent time in Soviet prison. But now that they were free, they wanted to pursue what was only until that point a dream—formal training in Bible exposition.
They were asking if perhaps John and other trained men could visit Ukraine and teach a conference.
In God’s providence, the conference came together and went off with success. 
But afterwards, Ukraine’s pastors knew they still needed more training, so they asked John MacArthur to help send them full-time teachers. Through this and more providences, what began as a conference eventually became a seminary—and in time, a model for an international training ministry.
The Model of TMAI’s Ministry
Today, Ukraine’s story isn’t so unique anymore. Similar requests for pastoral training have poured in from every major region of the world. And as missionaries began to answer these calls and head to the field in greater numbers, The Master’s Academy International (TMAI) was formed to unite these training efforts. 
To date, God has blessed TMAI with 17 training centers across the globe—and that number is expected to double in the next 5 years. But as a testimony to the world’s ongoing need for trained pastors, it’s crucial to note that TMAI’s students and alumni represent 86 different countries. Clearly the harvest is plentiful and the workers are few—and that’s exactly why our work must remain focused for maximum impact.
In line with our Lord’s Great Commission, TMAI’s target mission is to make disciples who declare His glory among the nations. But unlike many modern missionary efforts, TMAI strategically invests in local church leadership. The reason is simple: Training one pastor strengthens an entire congregation. By investing in the maturity of these men, TMAI helps to ensure that they’ll be equipped to go forward and raise another generation of biblically sound disciples. And in this spirit of discipleship, TMAI’s long-term goal is to see each and every training center entrusted into the hands of a 100% indigenous faculty who will continue this work for years to come. By God’s grace, this goal has already been realized in over half of our current schools.
Enjoy Our FREE Gift to You
John MacArthur has said of TMAI, “I believe the history and impact of these schools is the greatest missions story of our time.” 
To help you see more of what God is doing through this global network of training centers, we’d like you to hear for yourself how Scripture rings in the hearts of these men on the field. Over 200 church leaders from TMAI’s faculty and graduate bodies have come together to create a year-round devotional titled Declaring His Glory Among the Nations that we’re shipping to you for free while supplies last.
“As you read each devotional, you’ll see and be reminded that no matter the need or issue—whether it’s witchcraft in Malawi, gang violence in Honduras, or persecution in the Middle East—God’s word has the answers. Scripture alone is supreme and sufficient—its truth transcends location, language, culture, and worldview” (back cover). 
Please enjoy this free resource as a reminder of the global nature of gospel ministry and the unchanging glory of God. Reminder for U.S. addresses only. 
Request your free copy today at www.tmai.org/challies.
Learn more how to support TMAI at www.tmai.org.

What Matters Is Not the Size of Your Faith

We aren’t certain whether gold is pure or alloyed until it is tested in the fire. We don’t know whether steel is rigid or brittle until it is tested by stress. We can’t have confidence that water is pure until it passes through a filter. And in much the same way, we don’t know what our faith is made of until we face trials. It is the testing of our faith that displays its genuineness, says Peter, and it is passing through the trial that generates praise and glory and honor. Though we do not wish to endure trials and do not deliberately bring them upon ourselves, we know that in the providence of God they are purposeful and meaningful, that they are divine means to make us “perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

There are many who face trials and do not pass the test. Some face physical pain and through it grow angry with God and determine they cannot love a God who lets them endure such difficulties. Some face the possibility of persecution and find they prefer to run from the faith than to suffer for it. Some have children who turn to aberrant sexual practices and who prefer to renounce God than fail to affirm their kids. Some watch loved ones suffer and die and determine that a God who permits such things is not worthy of their love, their trust, their admiration. In these ways and so many more, some are tested and, through the test, shown to have a faith that is fraudulent.
Yet there are many others who face such trials and emerge with their faith not only intact, but strengthened. They face physical pain and through it grow in submission to God and confidence in his purposes. They face the possibility of persecution and find they would prefer to suffer than to deny the God who has saved them. They have children who turn to aberrant sexual practices and, though they still love their kids, refuse to affirm them. They watch loved ones suffer and die and say, in meekness, that the God with the right to give is the God with the right to take away.
What fascinates me is how bad we are at predicting who will pass the test and who will not. We sometimes look at people who have accumulated great stores of Bible trivia and great knowledge of Christian doctrine and assume they are the ones who will necessarily pass through the fire unharmed. Yet these are sometimes the ones who turn away at the first heat. We sometimes look at people who have only a rudimentary store of Bible trivia and little knowledge of Christian doctrine and assume they are the ones who will be first to waver, stumble, and fall. Yet these are often the ones who cling most tenaciously. We are not nearly as wise, not nearly as discerning, as we may have thought.
All of this goes to prove that what matters is not the size of a person’s faith, but its object. What secures us in our trials is not the magnitude of our faith, but the power of the one in whom we have placed it. The smallest bit of faith in God is worth infinitely more than the greatest bit of faith in ourselves, or the strongest measure of faith in faith itself. Faith counts for nothing unless its object is Jesus Christ.
Thus, when the fire burns hot, we learn to our surprise that some may have had tremendous faith in themselves, but no faith in Jesus. When the floods rise high, we learn to our shock that some may have had faith in faith, but no faith in the Lord of all the universe. Yet when others pass through the flames, we learn to our joy that though their faith may have been little greater than a mustard seed, its object was the eternal, immortal God. When the waters swell around them and it seems as if they may go under, we learn to the satisfaction of our souls that though their faith may have been very small, it was faith in the one who is the Rock. We learn, with praise in our hearts, that they have been held fast by the one who is the glorious object of their unwavering faith.

A La Carte (December 6)

Good morning, my friends. Grace and peace to you today.

(Yesterday on the blog: Lost Is Her Treasure But Where Is Her Trust?)
The Letter of the Law?
In this one, Chris Hutchinson means to show that “the spirit” and “the letter” of the law are not two competing ways of reading the Bible.
When You’re Weary of Doing Good Work
Lauren Washer says, “Sometimes I grow weary of doing good, and I wonder if maybe you can relate. But here’s the thing: we’re not supposed to give up on the good work in front of us. God’s people aren’t allowed to be quitters. If we are in Christ, we are in it for the long-haul. And guess what? We’re not actually very good at this. (Well, maybe you are, and if you are, praise the Lord. But me? It doesn’t come naturally).”
Can Christians Be Under A Curse?
I have known many people who have been concerned that they may be under a curse. Mario Peter addresses that fear in this article from Equip Indian Churches.
Engaging CT’s Piece on “Side B Christians”
Christianity Today recently ran a piece about “Side B Christians,” and Denny Burk engages with it in this article.
20 Years
Here’s a reflection on what the Lord may do in a life over 20 years.
We Don’t Waste Our Trials When We Pray to God
Women may be the primary audience for this one, but it applies to us all. “Sisters, let’s strive to become women who pray, women who know how to pray on our knees with thanksgiving not only when the trials come, but even before the ‘big’ trials come. Being in the Word and persevering in fervent in prayer are necessary to prepare us for the next trial, the next temptation we´ll face, and the next deliverance we’ll see. Let us strive to become women who pray at all times.”
Flashback: Do Not Admit a Charge Against an Elder, Except…
It is clear: the testimony of a single witness cannot be the determining factor in charging a pastor with wrongdoing.

The weakest faith gets the same strong Christ as does the strongest faith. —Sinclair Ferguson

Weekend A La Carte (December 4)

May the Lord bless and keep you this weekend.

I’m very grateful to ShareWord for sponsoring the blog this week with some important news.
Today’s Kindle deals include a selection of excellent commentaries and other works.
(Yesterday on the blog: A December Family Update (and Non-Travel Report)
Unfiltered Christmas
Here’s an encouragement to have an unfiltered Christmas. “Material beauty will never be enough. The best of earth will never meet the deepest longing of our brokenness. We long, like pining Bethlehem, for our Mighty God to do great things for us. And He has.”
Do You Ever Feel Rushed by the Beauty of Forgiveness?
Brad Hambrick  says, “It’s worth asking, what part of forgiveness is beautiful? The answer is, the last part. The early and middle parts of forgiveness are heinous. They are the parts of the movie or novel that cause us to cringe.”
The Snowflake Mystery (Video)
This is a really neat video about the mysteries behind snowflakes.
Social Activism and the New Testament
There are some really interesting points made in this article. “The New Testament chiefly concerns itself with individuals, households, and local assemblies of Christians, and it is not hard to see why. A society characterized by justice, mercy, and faithfulness is only possible insofar as individuals themselves actually do the much harder, less glamorous work of embodying those virtues. One must rid the garden of snakes before seeking dragons to slay abroad.”
Reign with Christ, Hold the Suffering
“There is no reigning with Christ without suffering marking the life of a believer. It is not possible to order off the Christians menu, requesting to ‘hold the suffering’.”
Blame It on Luther?
Carl Trueman makes an astute observation here: “It is always easier to blame the other side for the dark crimes of history while assuring ourselves that it would have been so much better if we had been in charge.”
Flashback: Sweet Promises of Blessing, Terrible Threats of Judgment
How do we, as adults, show honor to our parents? What are our continuing obligations? What about parents who are difficult, absent, abusive, or even dead?

It is well to be familiar with the whole system of Christian doctrine. But it is far better to know repentance by experience and to feel it inwardly in our own hearts. —J.C. Ryle

A December Family Update (and Non-Travel Report)

I turned 45 yesterday. My birthday was supposed to arrive when I was somewhere high over the Atlantic, perhaps just off the coast of Namibia, at the front end of a monster 16-hour homeward flight. I should have long since fallen asleep, and not known exactly where I was when the clock struck midnight, nor even what time zone it might have been. I suppose it’s possible that I would have turned 45 a few times while flying briskly from east to west, from South Africa to North America.

But as it happened, I turned 45 in my own home and my own bed. There was an alternate version of my week where I had traveled to South Africa, then Zambia, then Zimbabwe to do a little preaching, to visit some ministries, and to be part of a conference. I went to bed Thursday night thinking all this would happen. I had even checked in to my flights and gone off to get the negative COVID test that would allow me to enter those countries. But when I awoke on Friday morning I quickly realized that none of it would happen, all thanks to the appearance of a new variant and the immediate international response to it. The countries I had planned to visit were the very countries deemed most unsafe and, had I arrived there, I expect I would have been stranded. So in the end I guess it worked out okay. Still, it was rather a disappointment to have the trip fall apart so close to departure.
I haven’t yet done any international travel since COVID struck and since Nick died. For many years it was a prominent part of my life and I do miss it from time to time—mostly the joy of experiencing Christian worship and fellowship in far-off places. Last week’s trip was to be my first journey in almost two years and I suspected it wasn’t going to be easy. There was a kind of fear that settled over my family the day Nick died—a fear related to a new awareness of the fragility of life. And while we are doing a bit better now than we were a few months ago, we still struggle to believe that we won’t experience other sorrows and losses, that the God who ordained one tragedy for us hasn’t ordained many more. It still feels intimidating to be apart, and especially an ocean apart. But, in God’s providence, that didn’t happen anyway.
That said, it may in the month ahead. Abby has returned from Boyce College for her Christmas break—the final time she will move back into our home before beginning one of her own following her wedding in May. Though she will mostly be working at a nearby grocery store through the winter break, she and I also plan to sneak away for a little trip together—one that was supposed to happen almost two years ago, but has been repeatedly postponed through the pandemic. When the kids were small I told them I’d save all my travel miles and hotel points from all my trips and then use it all to take them each somewhere special. This is what Abby and I hope to do later in the month. But, as always, we are at the mercy of the pandemic and, as it happens, Canada just tightened up all the travel rules again this week. So we will see. Aileen continues to work part time while holding things down around the home, while Michaela has another two weeks at high school before she gets a couple of weeks off. Then we will hopefully settle in for a sweet and restful holiday season together.
As for me, I recently completed a major book project I will be able to tell you about in the coming months. It should be on store shelves in September of 2022. Of all I have ever written, it is my favorite and I hope it will serve the church well. In the next few weeks I’ll be starting another book while, of course, continuing to emphasize the blog. And speaking of the blog, on the first day of November I hit the 18-year anniversary of daily blogging. I’ve been at this for a long time! And, I hope, will be for many more years.
And on that note, let me thank you for reading this article and for reading this blog. It means so much to me that you continue to read along—it’s a tremendous blessing and encouragement. And for that reason and so many more, I wish you and yours God’s richest blessings in the holiday season ahead.

A La Carte (December 3)

The Lord be with you and bless you today.

There are some nice new Kindle deals to look at today.
Binding
“It was the most significant spiritual moment of our marriage. And it happened 22 years after we said, ‘I do.’” Melissa explains what it was all about.
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year?
“Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, I think we can all agree that this time of year can bring out the best and the worst, not just in our culture around us, but even within ourselves and our  families.” Here’s some counsel on keeping the right perspective through the season.
You Can’t Reform a Church You Hate
This is good stuff from Trevin Wax. “Those of us who mourn the complicity of the church in manifest evil must differentiate between a kind of deconstruction that tears down a building and celebrates the rubble and the kind that strips away the moldy walls and floors until we find again the foundational truths that are common to Christians everywhere and through time.”
Must You Remain Silent on Abortion Unless You Adopt a Baby?
“The Planned Parenthood employee thought she had me with her question: ‘How many unwanted children have you adopted?’ ‘None,’ I replied. She probably thought, Checkmate, I got him. The pro-life view results in more babies being born. So it follows, according to this lady’s thinking, that if I don’t adopt any of them, I’m disqualified from arguing against abortion. Though this question is rhetorically powerful, it’s not a compelling case against pro-lifers.”
Will the Real Local Pastors Please Stand Up?
Daniel puts out the call to the real local church pastors. “It seems with every passing season another high-profile pastor falls from their ministry position. Sadly, I’ve come to expect it. I should probably grieve more. I should certainly pray more. Nonetheless, I don’t believe hell loses ground by simply adding more popular or hip leaders to the church. What the church really needs are servants who tremble at God’s word. We need shepherds who value others above themselves and live for the renown of Jesus, not their own platforms.”
There You Are
This is a wonderful tribute to a man who sounds like a wonderful grandfather.
Flashback: Mind Your Christmas Imperatives
We celebrate Christmas best when we celebrate it not because we have to, but because we freely choose to…Once we acknowledge there is no special command to be obeyed or grace to be earned, then we can celebrate in true gospel freedom.

No mother’s nightmarish valley is so dark that Jesus cannot bear her burdens the whole way through. —Gloria Furman

A La Carte (December 2)

As happens each year, Westminster Books has marked down ESVs to 50% off. That includes premium Bibles, Reader’s Bibles, study Bibles, etc.

Logos users will want to be sure to download this month’s free and nearly-free books.
Today’s Kindle deals include a couple of Christmas devotionals.
(Yesterday on the blog: The Joy of Hearing)
Postmodernism’s Revenge
Here’s Kevin DeYoung writing for WORLD opinions. “Looking for blind spots is one thing. Acting as if we are blind is another. We don’t have to let sociological fads and ill-defined ‘isms’ set the agenda when we have the necessary theological categories already. The point is the same: we can know things truly even if we don’t know things exhaustively.”
Losses of a Prayerless Christian
Jim Elliff explains some of what you lose when you do not pray.
As Advent Begins, Here are Ten Vital Truths About the Incarnation of Jesus
“With the Advent season here, it is always edifying to think about the glorious fact that God became a man and was, as the hymnwriter so well puts it, born to raise the sons of earth, born to give them second birth.Here are 10 things we must know about the Incarnation…” Stephen Wellum counts them down (or up, I guess).
Gentleness Is A Christian Virtue
“My greatest concern is not that our culture is angry. My greatest concern is that this sense of meanness has even invaded many corners of the church. Christians on both sides of the political spectrum justify their anger toward others by claiming to be fighting for justice or Christian liberty or the future of our country, or whatever other narrative fits their desire to express their more base emotions.” (See also: Why So Harsh?)
The Latest Evangelical Convert to Rome. What Does Rome Have to Offer?
Leonardo De Chirico reflects on a surprising conversion. “I am not English, nor Anglican, but the story of the conversion of the former Anglican bishop Michael Nazir-Ali to Catholicism struck me. He is not the first evangelical Anglican to become Roman Catholic, and he probably will not be the last…” (On this topic, you may also listen to the new Reformanda Initiative podcast.)
Why We Worship ‘the Word’
Mark Jones: “Bible readers young and old have wondered why John begins his Gospel referring to Jesus as ‘the Word’ that became flesh (John 1:1, 14). The Greek term for ‘word,’ logos, is common enough in Greek. It appears over three hundred times in the New Testament, with different meanings in different contexts. But when understood in relation to Christ, the word has been furiously debated.”
Flashback: The Counter-Cultural Vocation of Homemaking
My wife chose a rare and counter-cultural vocation. She chose a vocation that was once very respectful but is now viewed with some shame.

Churches don’t make the gospel true. It is true even when the household of God behaves badly. But people can see that it is true, and doubters are converted when “the sweetness of the Lord” is upon us. —Ray Ortlund

The Joy of Hearing

There is perhaps no book of the Bible that offers as many interpretive challenges as the book of Revelation. I sometimes debate whether the book is actually perfectly clear while we are pathetically thick or whether the book is extremely difficult to understand because God intended it to be. Either way, though the intent and general message of Revelation is clear enough, the details present a challenge worthy of the most eminent theologian.

Speaking of which, Thomas Schreiner has recently taken on that challenge in three forms: a general-level commentary in the ESV Expository Commentary series; a major academic commentary in the Baker Exegetical Commentary series (which is still forthcoming); and The Joy of Hearing, a short book on the theology of Revelation. The latter work represents the debut volume in a new series titled New Testament Theology, co-edited by Schreiner and Brian Rosner. Each volume will examine the big ideas one of the books of the New Testament and do so in a readable and relatively concise format. (The second volume, The Mission of the Triune God: A Theology of Acts, will release in January.)
The Joy of Hearing, then, offers a theology of Revelation, which means it approaches the book thematically rather than chapter-by-chapter and verse-by-verse. Schreiner begins by telling why it is so important that contemporary Christians read the book of Revelation carefully and know it well. And, of course, this means he needs to address what the book is and is not. “The book of Revelation is not a prophecy chart about the future but a call to be a disciple of Jesus. John tells us to be faithful and fruitful, and we should not give in to despair, for in the end, all will be well.”

My contention is that we desperately need the message of Revelation for today’s world. There is a great conflict between good and evil in our world, and the Christian faith is under attack, as it was in the first century. John reminds us in this book that God rules, even in an evil day; that God has not forsaken his people; and that goodness will finally triumph and prevail. In the midst of evil, in a world in which the Christian faith is under attack, we need hope and assurance that evil will not have the last word, and Revelation teaches us that a new world is coming, that a new creation is coming, and that all will be well. God is just and holy and righteous, and those who turn against God and his Christ will suffer judgment. At the same time, we see in the book that the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ are the center of history, or the fulcrum of history. Evil has been defeated because of what Christ has accomplished. The triumph over wickedness was realized not by an act of judgment but through the suffering of the Lion of the tribe of Judah, through the Lamb who was slain. What do believers do as they live in Babylon, as they live in a world in which the governments of the world are like ravenous beasts tearing apart the church? John tells us that we are to stay close to Christ, that we must not compromise with evil, that we must endure to the end, and that we must look to the final reward.

Schreiner then advances to a brief examination of the book’s setting, date, and genre, suggesting that the best evidence is that it was written during the reign of Domitian, which would date it somewhere between AD 81-96.—a time when the churches in Asia Minor were experiencing state-sanctioned persecution. Yet he insists that “no interpretation should be accepted that demands a particular date—an important hermeneutical conclusion that we can draw from the imprecision of the historical situation.” As for the genre, while Revelation is clearly apocalyptic, Schreiner also emphasizes that it was a personal letter. “The epistolary genre in the book reminds us that we should not indulge in what I call ‘newspaper eschatology’ in reading the book. The book was written to readers who occupied a particular social location, and presumably they understood, at least mainly, what was written to them. The hermeneutical significance of this fact is massively important, for it eliminates the popular conception that modern readers interpret Revelation better than the original readers.”
With all this groundwork in place, Schreiner begins the study proper and, through seven chapters, picks up on the major themes of the book:

The deafness of those living on earth
The saints hear and heed
The declaration that God rules on his throne
The good news of the Lion and the Lamb
The testimony of the Holy Spirit
The promise of blessing and the New Creation
Reigning with Christ for one thousand years

Many will want to read this book to know where the author lands on the question of the millennium (and, therefore, which of the three major positions he advocates—postmillennialism, premillennialism, and amillennialism). He treads carefully and writes charitably without advocating one position far ahead of the others. That said, he is clearly most sympathetic toward historic premillennialism and amillennialism while fairly easily setting aside both postmillennialism and dispensationalism.
As he concludes his study, Schreiner says “In a world full of evil, selfishness, materialism, and sexual exploitation, John proclaims a message of hope, although it is an apocalyptic message that is hidden from the world. Thus believers must attune their ears to hear a transcendent message, to hear the words of the Son of Man and the Holy Spirit.” This wonderful little book, which is equally appropriate for pastors, academics, and general readers, will help accomplish just that—it will better equip us all to hear, understand, and apply that transcendent, hope-filled, life-giving, soul-sustaining message.
The Joy of Hearing is available at Amazon or Westminster Books (where it’s currently 50% off).

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