Thursday, 14 November 2013

News from Around the World (14/11)

What That Empty Seat Says - We’ve all done it. We shuffle down a row of chairs and, just before we arrive at a person, we stop one chair short. We leave an empty seat between us and the other person, secretly hoping an usher won’t ask us to “scoot in.” What does that empty seat say? Why are we compelled to leave that “safe seat” between us and others?

Free to Say We'veSinned - When you hide your sin, pretending to be a perfect Christian, you’re actually telling the world that God is a liar. Did Jesus, or did Jesus not, need to suffer and die for your present sins? When you feign perfection, you’re saying you didn’t need Him to do this for you.

A Few Practical Lessons from the Puritans - Some practical helps from the puritans on preaching, catechizing, preserving and pride.

Defining the “Gospel” in a Gospel-Centered Theology - Here are the six key things that Bird thinks are essential for understanding the gospel (pp. 47-52). And it’s in sections like this that Bird’s strengths as a biblical theologian really come to the forefront.

Dangerous ideas - If Christ Jesus is the Son of God who died and rose again, everything changes. It is the most dangerous idea. The people who ought to be most clear about this, by what we say and how we live, are true believers.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

News from Around the World (13/11)

Paul and the Faithfulness of God - D. J. Moo's review of N. T. Wright's book.


Truth Remains - Check out this post that provides a link to 4 short clips on the history of the 4 great English Bible.

Is John Piper Really Reformed? - Do I think TULIP is the essence of Calvinism? No. Do I wish many who think of themselves as “Reformed” would go a lot farther back and dig a lot deeper down? Yes. But does it bother me that people think of Piper, Mohler, and Dever as Reformed? Not at all. 

Buddy, can you spare a dime? - It seems to me that many of us work in churches where we as ministers are among those most protected from the harsh realities and dangers of life in a post-Christian world.   So we should not flatter ourselves about how hard and dangerous our calling is.

Should every church be multiethnic? - I meet pastors all the time who insist that their homogenous church simply reflects the homogeneity of their community. However, when they examine their community’s census data, they discover that there are significant numbers of diverse people all around them.
Five Truths About Christian Suffering - But just because we experience suffering as we await the redemption of our bodies, it doesn’t mean that our suffering is random or without purpose. And neither does it mean that Scripture doesn’t tell us how to think about our suffering now. Here are five important biblical truths about suffering every Christian should have ready

Walking with God in Everyday Life - The Bible says that “the Lord was with” Abraham, Joseph, David, and Hezekiah. We’re also told that Enoch and Noah “walked with God.” These are two sides of the one coin, two perspectives on the same experience of God’s special presence with His people.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

News from Around the World (12/11)

Loving Something Too Much - It is in the context of him writing on the temptation to suicide but it's been very helpful indeed in thinking about what am I loving too much - wife, children, ministry. It's all too easy to idolise them.

Jesus and My Complicated Relationship With the Psalms - If the Psalms begin to feel confusing read them through the lens of Christ. Read them as if Christ himself were speaking them. Jesus is the key to unlocking the Psalms. He shines light upon all the dark and confusing places. He is the reigning king who shares his righteousness with those who don’t deserve it.

Why You Shouldn’t Turn Homework in Late - Grade impact should certainly be part of the equation when you’re faced with this situation. But it’s not the only one. I’d like to suggest a couple of other reasons to think twice before handing that assignment in late, reasons that may not immediately come to mind when you’re trying to decide if seeing Catching Fire on opening night is worth a little academic slippage.

4 Reasons to Teach the Bible’s Storyline - What’s the big deal? Why is it so important for Christians to be able to connect the dots of the Bible’s grand narrative? Here are four reasons.

Why We Still Read C.S. Lewis 50 Years After His Death - Some reason by John Piper.

The 5 D's of a Good Meeting - As many of the people I work with know, I am not a fan of long meetings. Generally, they drain me of my energy as we swirl around and around an issue. So, I’ve started thinking about how I can better hold a good meeting. Here are five ideas.

How Systematic Theology Can Energize and Enrich Your Preaching.

Kindle Deal (12/11)

Heart of the Matter: Daily Reflections for Changing Hearts and Lives (FREE)

Change that goes deeper than the surface of our lives happens as we daily remember the truths of the gospel. Every day we need to be reminded that Jesus, God’s own Son, came to this world to save us from sin, sorrow, and death. We need to remember every day how Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, ascension, and promised return change the way we view ourselves and others. This devotional will be a daily reminder of these life-changing truths.

The 366 selections, anchored in Scripture and saturated with the gospel, will help the reader to:

  • Learn how God in his Word addresses a host of life situations
  • Focus on how the gospel intersects with life
  • Look beyond circumstances to God’s purposes
  • See how God values relationship and to learn to value it too by persisting, by speaking truth in love, and by not shying away from conflict
  • Grow in wisdom when confronted by life’s changes.
  • Learn that God works change that is effective and visible.
Topics covered in the devotional include: love, hope, grace, redemption, faith, contentment, conflict, relationships, prayer, fear, patience, humility, and anger.