Links I Like

Why Idolatry Was (and Is) Attractive

Kevin DeYoung:

Most Westerners have struggled at one time or another to understand the attraction of idolatry in the ancient world. What could be so compelling about an inanimate block of wood or chunk of stone? Hard core idolatry feels as tempting as beet juice. . . . But idolatry made a lot of sense in the ancient world. And, had we lived two or three millennia ago, it almost certainly would have been tempting to each one of us. In his commentary on Exodus, Doug Stuart explains idolatry’s attraction with nine points. You’ll likely want to save this list and file it for future sermons or Bible studies.

The Challenges in Church Replanting in New England

Jared Wilson:

New England is now the least-churched, least-reached area of the United States, making it America’s most needy mission field. Yet missional church planters are not flocking here. There are likely some good reasons for that.

And I am loathe to ascribe it to lack of interest, necessarily, because every week I receive emails from men who feel called to minister in New England. Most of these do not believe they are called or gifted to plant churches. (I sympathize, because I am neither called nor gifted to be a church planter either.) So they ask about existing churches needing pastors. Are there churches here in need of pastors?

Charles Spurgeon on Calvinism — Preserving Grace

Steve Lawson (via Nathan W. Bingham):

Charles Spurgeon affirmed the doctrine of the preserving grace of God, sometimes known as the perseverance of the saints. This biblical truth teaches that no believers in Christ will ever fall from grace, for God upholds their faith. Spurgeon affirmed, “I think few doctrines more vital than that of the perseverance of the saints, for if ever one child of God did perish, or if I knew it were possible that one could, I should conclude at once that I must, and I suppose each of you would do the same.” Spurgeon saw the preserving grace of God as a primary component of the gospel.

Licensed to Kill: A Field Manual for Mortifying Sin

BCC interviews Brian Hedges about his book, Licensed to Kill:

BCC: “You referred to the struggle with the flesh and indwelling sin. So, do you think that believers have two natures—a new nature and a sinful nature?”

BH: “It depends on what you mean by ‘two natures.’ Scripture certainly talks about the conflict between the desires of the flesh and the Spirit (Gal. 5:17). Sometimes this feels like a Jekyll vs. Hyde struggle in our hearts and this is how I read the much disputed seventh chapter of Romans. But, on the other hand, I think it’s a misnomer to think of the believer as a dual-personality with a ‘sin nature’ that has equal sway with the Spirit in his heart. It helps me to remember that we live as citizens of two ages, between the ‘already’ and the ‘not yet.’ We are already redeemed, but not fully redeemed. We are new creations in Christ, but we still inhabit a fallen world with bodies and minds that are not yet fully glorified. The decisive victory against sin and death has been won, but we still have clean up battles to fight.”