Kevin DeYoung in an excerpt from his upcoming book, Taking God at His Word:
The unity of Scripture also means we should be rid, once and for all, of this “red letter” nonsense, as if the words of Jesus are the really important verses in Scripture and carry more authority and are somehow more directly divine than other verses. An evangelical understanding of inspiration does not allow us to prize instructions in the gospel more than instructions elsewhere in Scripture. If we read about homosexuality from the pen of Paul in Romans, it has no less weight or relevance than if we read it from the lips of Jesus in Matthew. All Scripture is breathed out by God, not just the parts spoken by Jesus.
Your entry into and experience of joy depends, then, largely on your honesty before God and with yourself and others. That begins with honesty about our misery, our sin, our rebellion, our nature and our weakness. It is only when we face these facts that we will begin to find corresponding peace with and delight in God known in Christ Jesus. As sinners – even as saved sinners – there is nothing to be gained by denying or downgrading the depth of our past and present deeds and needs. Rather, our guilt and weakness is the very backdrop against which the grace of God shines most brightly. The bitterness of our sin and frailty makes the sweetness of divine mercy all the more distinct.
Kindle deals for Christian readers
A whole bunch of new deals to start your week:
- Center Church by Tim Keller—$2.99
- A Model of Christian Maturity by D.A. Carson—$3.59
- Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas—$2.99
- Captivated: Beholding the Mystery of Jesus’ Death and Resurrection by Thabiti Anyabwile—$5.97
- Life in Christ: Becoming and Being a Disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ by Jeremy Walker—$6.66
- True Friendship by Vaughan Roberts—$3.59
- Christ-Centered Preaching: Redeeming the Expository Sermon by Bryan Chapell—$2.99
- Feelings and Faith: Cultivating Godly Emotions in the Christian Life by Brian Borgman—$1.99
- Gospel by JD Greear—$2.99
- Transformational Church by Ed Stetzer and Thom Rainer—99¢
- Everyday Theology—99¢
- The Ever-Loving Truth: Can Faith Thrive in a Post-Christian Culture? by Voddie Baucham—99¢
- Evangelism: A Concise History by John Mark Terry—99¢
- Defending Your Faith by R.C. Sproul—$1.99
- From Heaven He Came and Sought Her: Definite Atonement in Historical, Biblical, Theological, and Pastoral Perspective edited by David Gibson and Jonathan Gibson—$19.49 (that might not seem like a great deal, but when it’s regularly about $38.49…)
Also free from Logos this month is Bonhoeffer for Armchair Theologians.
In an article on Huffington Post (naturally) entitled How to Debate a Christian Apologist, atheist Victor Stenger explains why non-Christians usually do so badly in debates with Christians and then offers a cheat sheet of brief answers to Christian apologetic arguments. The reason why the Christians do so well, according to Stenger, is that they have had years to polish their arguments in their religion classes and churches. The atheists, apparently, don’t have comparable opportunities. This will come as a surprise to Christian students throughout the Western world who have sat under atheists and other skeptical professors routinely spouting off against Christianity even if it entails ignoring the subject matter of the course.
Tim Challies continues his new series on a few of the most famous false teachers through history:
Muhammad was born around 570 in Mecca in what is now the nation of Saudi Arabia. This was an area where there were significant populations of both Christians and Jews, so there was access to the Scriptures and the teachings of both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Muslims claim that Muhammad was a direct descendent of Ishmael, and thus of Abraham, though the only evidence to support this comes through oral tradition. Muhammad’s father died before he was born and his mother sent him as an infant to live in the desert with Bedouins in order to become acquainted with Arab traditions. While in the desert he is said to have encountered two angels who opened his chest and cleansed his heart with snow, symbolic of Islam’s teaching that he was purified and protected from all sin.