This week’s Free Stuff Friday is sponsored by Reformation Heritage Books, who also sponsored the blog this week.
The Family Worship Bible Guide aims to provide invaluable help to those who want to do daily, intentional family worship. The guide presents the two or three major practical takeaways from each chapter in the Bible. Click here to try a 7-day sample of the FWBG in the gospel of John. Enter the giveaway below for your opportunity to win one of three copies of the new leather-like edition.
Giveaway Rules: You may enter one time. When you enter, you agree to be placed on Reformation Heritage Books’ email list. The winners will be notified by email. The giveaway closes on November 17, 2023.
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By Tim Challies — 1 year ago
Blessings to you today!
There is yet another batch of Kindle deals for you this morning.
(Yesterday on the blog: Shaken to Bear Fruit)
Who Was David Brainerd?
Dustin Benge has written a nice little introduction to David Brainerd. “On a spring day in 1747, mounted on his horse, a frail twenty-nine year old David Brainerd (1718–1747) rode into the yard of the Northampton parsonage of New England pastor Jonathan Edwards. Before this day, Brainerd and Edwards were relative strangers to one another. However, the summer of 1747 nurtured a growing friendship between the two men culminating in one of the most influential missionary biographies in the history of American evangelicalism.”
Love Without Limits
This is sweet. “I learned that the heart is infinitely expandable—limitless, even—with no bottom or edges or measuring devices attached. I learned that I could add and add and add people to my circle of family or friends and I would never run out of love to give. I learned that I could love many people equally, and loving one person intensely due to some temporary circumstance never had to mean that another would suffer from any lack of love from me. I learned that even when I thought I couldn’t love any harder, or more expansively, or deeper … I could.”
We Love to Give Gold Stars
Ryan Higginbottom: “When we obsess about the ethics of every action of a character in a Bible passage, we are likely to miss the main point. We should investigate why the author wrote this passage in this way; if they were not concerned with parsing the moral grade of a character’s actions, we should not be either.”
What South Asian Christians Do During Diwali
“It’s Diwali,” Aileen told me early yesterday morning when fireworks woke us up just after midnight. This article from CT tells what Christians in South Asia do during the holiday. And the article makes me think of what I’ve taken for granted: that the holidays in Canada are all just fine for Christians to celebrate. Not so everywhere in the world!
How Tall Was Goliath? A Textual Dilemma
How tall was Goliath? The answer isn’t quite as straightforward as we may think.
Greek Grammar and Trinitarian Worship
This is a good article from Adriel Sanchez.
Flashback: Why I Owe Everything To Don Lewis
If we trace the Christian faith of all these people—perhaps 40 or 50 of us now—they all eventually converge on Don Lewis. They all converge on a young man who simply and faithfully shared the gospel.
Persecution has never hurt the church…only prosperity. —Paul Washer
By Tim Challies — 2 years ago
Today’s post is written by Bill Mounce and is sponsored by Zondervan. Bill is the author of Why I Trust the Bible and Basics of Biblical Greek.
The Bible makes some astonishing claims about itself. The apostle Paul tells his friend Timothy that every word of the Bible comes from the mouth of God (2 Tim 3:16). The Bible says God personally wrote the Ten Commandments with His own finger (Exod 31:18; Deut 9:10). Almost five hundred times, the prophets preface their prophecies with the claim “says the Lord.” Jesus says, “I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken” (John 12:49). Under normal circumstances, if someone says they speak for God, I doubt many of us would pay attention. But this is exactly what the Bible says about itself. Do you believe it?
We can no longer assume that people trust their Bible and believe what it says about itself. Western culture has shifted away from its Judeo-Christian heritage, and the popular media has launched such an attack on the believability of Scripture that many churchgoers have serious questions about the Bible. Questions like:
Did Jesus actually live?
Did the biblical writers get it right, or did they slant, massage, or even create the Bible we have today?
The Gospels were written long after Jesus lived; how can you trust them?
How can you believe a Bible that’s full of internal contradictions with itself and external contradictions with science and history?
Why should we believe the right books are in the Bible? Many books were left out, like the Gospel of Thomas.
Why trust the Bible when there are so many contradictory translations?
Wherever I travel in the world, whether I am speaking at conferences or universities or churches, there is one burning question. Can I trust the Bible? Why should I trust the Bible? Gone are the days of the veneer of a Christian culture where trust was assumed. Gone are the days when the Bible was given the benefit of the doubt. We live in a culture that aggressively attacks the Bible and those who were raised to trust it. University freshman are being challenged in every class. Parents often do not know what to do or how to help.
Some people feel it’s wrong to ask these fundamental questions; but if you never seriously ask them, you’ll never be convinced that the Bible is true and trustworthy. So I invite you to ask the hard questions, read the controversies and solutions, and decide for yourself whether you trust your Bible. Does it contain the very words of God?
I wrote the book, Why I Trust the Bible because people need to know the challenges of the day and the solutions to the questions raised. As is true of all systems of belief that deal with the ultimate questions of reality—Christianity, Islam, Materialism, Atheism—we all must have faith. I can’t prove the Bible is trustworthy, but I don’t have to put my brain on the shelf in order to believe in its trustworthiness. There are good answers to the hard questions being asked today, and none of the questions need to drive anyone to despair.
After forty-nine years of consistent and serious study of the New Testament, I am more convinced than ever that the Bible contains the very words of God and is wholly trustworthy.
This post is adapted from the Preface of Bill Mounce’s book Why I Trust the Bible. Order the book or find out more info.
Bill Mounce (PhD, Aberdeen University) lives as a writer in Washougal, Washington. He is the President of BiblicalTraining.org, a non-profit organization offering world-class educational resources for discipleship in the local church. See www.BillMounce.com for more information. Formerly he was a preaching pastor, and prior to that a professor of New Testament and director of the Greek Program at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He is the author of the bestselling Greek textbook, Basics of Biblical Greek, and many other resources. He was the New Testament chair of the English Standard Version translation of the Bible and is serving on the NIV translation committee.
What people are saying about Why I Trust the Bible:
“Bill Mounce has produced a remarkably clear, comprehensive, and level-headed resource that carefully and graciously explains each type of objection that has been lodged against the Bible, and then answers each objection with convincing facts and arguments. I expect that all who read it will gain deeper confidence in the trustworthiness of the Bible.”—WAYNE GRUDEM, Phoenix Seminary
“Ordinary believers wonder whether the Bible is really true, whether we can truly trust the Scriptures. Why I Trust the Bible represents a learned and accessible response to such questions. Many, I believe, will be assured in their faith by reading this important book.”—THOMAS R. SCHREINER, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
“We live in a time when truth is subject to a person’s preferences and what is called ‘truth’ is really just formulated montage of misinformation. We need accessible and accurate information for people from all walks of life. In Why I Trust the Bible, Bill Mounce invites Christ-followers and doubters to consider the reasonable and sound answers he provides to today’s tough questions.—ERIC MASON, Epiphany Fellowship
“This excellent volume is a treasure trove of explanations of difficult texts and answers to skeptics’ questions about the Bible. With each chapter, I found my confidence in the integrity of the biblical text reaffirmed and strengthened. Bill Mounce is uniquely qualified to respond to the many arguments against the authority and trustworthiness of the Bible, and I highly commend this book to anyone who is struggling to believe that Scripture is genuinely God-breathed.”—SAM STORMS, Bridgeway Church
Go here to order Why I Trust the Bible or find out more info.
By Tim Challies — 1 year ago
My gratitude goes to Banner of Truth for sponsoring the blog this week to tell you about a new collection of writings by J.C. Ryle.
(Yesterday on the blog: Fight For Your Pastor)
Time to Rethink your Church Website?
“Our website is our most easily accessed 24/7 communication face to the world. Are we being wise in our use of it?” I think this is well worth asking. This article asks whether putting all of our sermons online is still wise.
My Broken Engagement
“Has God forgotten me? No, my heart said. But it wasn’t a statement of faith. It was a cry of sorrow: I wish that he had. Because if he had forgotten me, it would mean that he didn’t know about my broken engagement, that he wasn’t an indifferent observer watching me in my living room, sprawled out on my rug like a dead spider, sobbing until I had to run to the bathroom and vomit.”
The Value of Repeated Bible Reading
“There is no perfect Bible reading plan. Many Christians try to read through the whole Bible every year, a laudable goal, but sometimes only reading a passage once a year keeps us from really grappling with its message.” Scott encourages different ways of repeatedly reading the Bible.
The 5 Shaky Pillars of Insider Movement Strategies￼
“Compassion for the lost creates urgency for missions. Yet, urgency alone, untempered by a primary concern for God’s glory and God’s means, can quickly run afoul of biblical methodology and doctrinal truth. Those urgently seeking to increase their fruitfulness can be tempted to sacrifice biblical precision on the altar of expediency and pragmatism. One example of this in contemporary missions is what is known as Insider Movement (IM) strategies.”
3 Misconceptions That Many Muslims Have about Christianity
I have often found this to be true: “Muslims love to talk about religion, and I write this to encourage you to talk with your Muslim neighbors about meaningful spiritual matters that concern salvation and eternity. Unlike Westerners who often avoid conversations about religion and politics with people they just met, Muslims have no problem discussing religious matters. They cherish such conversations.”
Is Tithing for Today? (Video)
Derek Thomas suggests that the principle of tithing is not restricted to the Old Testament. It’s worth hearing him out.
Flashback: Lay Aside Your Cheap Running Shoes
Two authors, two books, two faiths, two topics, but one common theme: To run well you must rid yourself of all excess weight. It is true when running a race, it is true when pursuing Christ.
Perseverance reveals the fruit of true, saving faith. It is both an exercise of genuine faith and evidence of it. Perseverance doesn’t save us, but it reveals that we have been saved. —Glenna Marshall