Four pieces of leadership “wisdom” you should totally ignore

keyboard

Every leader, no matter if they’re leading one person or one thousand, wants to get better at what they do. Fortunately the leadership industrial complex has produced a number of really great books offering really sound advice.

Unfortunately, there’s also a lot of dreck out there, the kind of stuff that makes me want to start reading Jesus’ seven woes out loud as emphatically as possible. Here are a few pieces of worldly wisdom that Christian leaders should probably ignore:

1. Criticized? Take heart—it means you’re a great leader. The other day I saw the following quote by Edwin Friedman in my Twitter feed: “Criticism is, if anything, often a sign that the leader is functioning better.” While certainly criticism can be a sign you’re doing well, it can also be a sign you’re failing miserably. The type of criticism you receive and how you respond to it are far better indicators. Proud “leaders” quickly write off criticism as being the divisive words of “haters” (and nitwits make videos about it). While not every piece of criticism merits the same level of attention, humble leaders listen, process, and respond to what they receive accordingly.

2. Throw your peers under the bus. This nugget came from John Maxwell’s 360-Degree Leader, where he shares the story of “Fred,” a man with a moody boss. The moral of the story? If your boss is unstable, watch and see which way the wind is blowing as your peers bring up issues. If the boss is in a good mood, bring up your list. If not, slide it back into your pocket and let your coworkers get burned (see pages 76-77).

Never mind taking a risk and calmly saying, “I had some concerns I wanted to address, but I can see this probably isn’t the best time.” It’s dangerous to do this, but it’s better than silently letting everyone else get blasted. And besides, it’s not like your volatile boss can fire you for it (unless he wanted to face a wrongful dismissal suit, of course).

3. People complaining? Be even harder on them! This one’s a bit of a cheat, because it’s identified as being terrible advice. When Rehoboam was faced with rebellion and had to choose between easing the burdens of his people and increasing them, he ignored the counsel of the elders and went along with his stupid friends. The result? The nation was torn in two.

4. “It is much safer to be feared than loved…” This come from Niccolò Machiavelli’s The Prince. Here it is with more context:

…it is much safer to be feared than loved because …love is preserved by the link of obligation which, owing to the baseness of men, is broken at every opportunity for their advantage; but fear preserves you by a dread of punishment which never fails.

Much of Machiavelli’s writing deals with self-preservation as the highest virtue. Love is risky, he’s right. But good leadership is all about risk. Compliance via fear is “safer” only because it’s easier to intimidate than to actually show those you lead that you care. Threats work in the short term, but don’t think you’ll have anyone sticking their necks out for you when you really need it.

Those are just a few of the gems out there that you should almost certainly ignore. What are a few pieces of terrible leadership advice you’ve heard?

5 things we loved about Nashville

We just wrapped up a fantastic week enjoying the sites and visiting friends in Nashville. Here are a few things we loved about our visit:

1. Sunday at Immaneul.

Our first morning in town, we visited Immanuel Church, where Ray Ortlund serves as the pastor. We loved spending the morning there and meeting a whole bunch of folks (it was funny how most people assumed we were moving to town rather than visiting). What I most loved about the morning was the way Ortlund employed William Bridge’s Exodus 34 liturgy to engage the congregation and remind us of the truth of God’s character and our confidence in Christ.

2. The downtown library.

We’ve been to story times at libraries before, but we were shocked to see the production at the Nashville Public Library. They put on an amazing show for the kids, the type you’d normally expect to pay for. Library Pete and Mary Mary clearly have a lot of fun.

Beyond the story times, the downtown library itself is gorgeous. It was terrific to roam around there.

3. Chick-Fil-A.

Emily’d never tried the fabled Chick-Fil-A before our visit on Monday. She’d long heard me going on about how delightful it is and she kept thinking, “Really? It’s a chicken sandwich.” She had something like a McDonald’s chicken sandwich in mind—and when she took the first bite, her response was telling:

“This – is - good.”

Turns out I didn’t oversell it.

3. Hanging out with Trevin Wax, Micah Fries, Jonathan Howe, Matt Capps and Michael Kelley.

Wednesday we spent time a lot of time at LifeWay and with the great folks who work there. Really enjoyed meeting Michael Kelley in person for the first time (shame we didn’t have longer). Having lunch with Trevin, Micah, Jonathan and Matt was a real treat and they were incredibly hospitable (especially since we had our three kids with us). We also got to spend time with Matt and his lovely family before we left town. Our girls were happy to make a Nashville friend. :)

Side note: While we were away, I read Trevin’s soon-to-be-released fiction book, Clear Winter Nights. I’ll tell you more about it later.

4. Really old Bibles.

One of the coolest things at LifeWay is found in their library—they’ve got a display cabinet showcasing a number of extremely old Bibles, including a reproduction of the Gutenberg Bible and the Gun Wad Bible, the first Bible printed in America on American made paper. As the story goes, the reason it’s called the Gun Wad Bible is because it was used as cartridge paper during the American Revolution.

5. People love kids.

One of the things that amazed us most during our stay was how we didn’t get the sense we were burdening society by being outdoors with our three kids. People smiled and talked to them and generally made us feel welcome wherever we were with them. This was a really nice change because, although it doesn’t always happen, we sometimes get the sense our presence is offensive to others here in London (usually at a store).

Those are just a few of the things we loved about our vacation. I could probably list a ton more, like my daughter discovering she likes comic books, our trip to the Frist Center for the Arts, visiting the Parthenon in Centennial Park, Hudson getting his land legs…

In fact, aside from some issues with our hotel and our car having a bit of surprise repair work (and if you’re in the area, go to Antioch Auto Center!), it was a practically perfect vacation.

We’re glad to be home and looking forward to getting back into the normal routine, but we’re already looking forward to when we get to go back. Nashville, consider yourself warned.

Help us make a documentary on the life and legacy of Spurgeon

Recently a new friend, Stephen McCaskell, contacted me about being part of a documentary about the life and legacy of Charles Spurgeon. Spurgeon has long been one of my heroes in the faith, so the opportunity to be a part of a project like this intrigued me from the get go. Together with Adrian Warnock, we set about plans to make a crowd-sourced film, Through the Eyes of Spurgeon. Soon a fourth party joined our merry band, Matt Pennings of Red Rubber Studio, and we’ve just recently launched a support page on Indiegogo.com.

Yep, we’re crowd-funding a movie. :)

Here’s a short video featuring Adrian with the details:

“This child will one day preach the gospel, and he will preach it to great multitudes…”

Did Richard Knill have any idea how God would bring these words to life when he spoke them over a young Charles Haddon Spurgeon?

During his lifetime, Spurgeon did indeed preach to great multitudes. He faithfully made known the great truths of the gospel to millions of men and women in his ministry—and he continues to do so today, more than a century after his death.

Spurgeon has much to teach us through his great successes—and also through the hardships of his life. No stranger to physical illness and crushing depression, Spurgeon’s handling of great suffering has been an encouragement to many. Pastor John Piper once said during a difficult time in his own ministry, “I have turned to Charles Spurgeon in these days, and I have been helped.”

This is the legacy we want to share with you in our documentary, Through the Eyes of C.H. Spurgeon.

Together with video production company Red Rubber Studios, we’re telling the story of how one man’s faithful ministry continues to bless believers the world over to this very day—a story of lives changed by the gospel and a legacy of faith that all of us involved in this film want to see emulated in the lives of every Christian.

We’re asking you to help support the making of this film because we believe Spurgeon’s life and legacy have much to say to believers in our day. With your with your financial support and your prayers, you can help make this film a reality.

Why writers need to diversify

keyboard

One of the best—albeit more peculiarly expressed—pieces of advice Douglas Wilson gives to writers in Wordsmithy: Hot Tips for the Writing Life is diversify:

Stretch before your routines. If you want to write Italian sonnets, try to write some short stories. If you want to write a few essays, write a novel, or maybe a novella if you are pressed for time. If you want to write haiku, then limber up with opinion pieces for The Washington Post.

(Read more of Wilson’s advice to writers here.)

Wilson’s point is well-taken. If you want to keep sharp, it’s wise to write something different. We writer types can become complacent and lazy—we can pretty easily get into a nice routine (or rut, depending on your point of view), shift into autopilot and write basically the same thing, over and over again.

Recently, I’ve seen some of very fine folks trying to stretch themselves, and it’s a wonderful thing, indeed. My friend Trevin Wax is writing a fiction book (which I’m pretty excited to read when it’s out). And then there’s my online pal Stephen Altrogge, who is cranking out really fun material like crazy these days!

If you’ve read his blog or his major release books, you probably know he’s really funny. Not that “I’m trying to be funny” kind of funny that’s not really funny at all; he’s got a very natural sense of humor and timing that shines through in his work. (For this, I am jealous.)

But in seeing the material he’s been self-publishing of late—The Last Superhero, and serial meta-spy-adventure novel Escaping My Story (parts one and two are now available and are really good!)—you can see he’s really trying to take this call to diversify seriously.

He wants to get better at his craft. This is something more of us need to take seriously, especially me.

A while back I made reference to writing a couple of kid’s books for my wife to illustrate. So far they’re coming along really well.

I have to be honest, though: it’s a lot harder than I thought it would be. Trying to tell a complete story in 1500 words or less with compelling characters is a really challenge. It’s given me a new appreciation for the books we read to our girls on a daily basis. There’s so much work that goes into keeping the story tight alone that I didn’t even consider when I first started working on it.

Although it’s a bit tangential, at work, I’ve got another challenge: adopting a new style guide to keep all our writers consistent. For those of us who’ve been there longer than our new staff, it’s a real challenge at times because we’ve gotten into certain habits or are just used to going on gut and preference.

But formalizing these things is another good challenge. It’s been forcing me consider word use, punctuation, grammatical issues so much more that I’ve been really lax on. This is a good kind of challenge as well—one that’s getting me thinking about the mechanics of what I’m writing, not just the content.

The point is this: Writers, whether we’re writers of books or blogs, we need to diversify. We need to be willing to try different things, regardless of whether or not they see the light of day and regardless of whether we succeed or fail. In the end, our writing will get better and we might even have some fun in the process.

Introducing the new book reviews page

book-reviews

Readers of this blog know I read a lot and consequently write a lot of book reviews (around 48 per year). Figuring out how to archive and present them all has been an ongoing challenge.

A couple years ago, I created a new page for reviews that brought a lot of order to the site… but it quickly became a bit clunky and time-consuming to update. Everything—and I do mean everything—had to be added to a table manually and after a while, I just couldn’t keep up. I needed something that could be more or less left alone (beyond some initial category updating) but keep everything up-to-date.

After much searching, I finally found a plugin for WordPress that lets me do what I want, and voila!

review-page

A screen shot of the new book reviews page

The new page features nine titles per screen of clickable (and mobile friendly!) images showing you every book review on the site, starting with the most recent. Simply click the image and you’re set!

The new version of the reviews page is still a work in progress, but I’d love your feedback. What works? What doesn’t? Is there anything you’d like to see done differently?

In the meantime, head on over to the new book review page and start reading!

My favorite articles of 2012

keyboard

Tis the season for bloggers to write their annual “best of” lists. Recently I shared my favorite reads of 2012; today I want to share a few of my favorite articles of the year. These don’t necessarily represent this blog’s most read articles (although some of them are). Instead, these represent some of the work I’m most happy with from this blog over the past year. I hope you’ll check them out:

Why I quit following (most) “celebrity” pastors on Twitter, and maybe you should too

…lately I’ve found myself continually disheartened by much of what I’m reading from a few “celebrity” pastors on Twitter, Facebook and their blogs, to say nothing of the fuss that ensues. And frankly, it’s all a little bit tiring. So, I did the most helpful thing I could: I stopped following them. Here’s why I did, and why you might want to consider doing the same.

Four functions of sound doctrine

Recently, I wrote that one of the key functions of doctrine is that it divides. Because Jesus himself is the most divisive person ever to live, all doctrine that aligns with him will necessarily cause division. But that’s not all that doctrine does.

Broken, yet intricately woven

My wife’s example here is a standout example of faithfully exploring the

I was diagnosed with epilepsy on Friday. My first thought was, “This is very inconvenient.” I asked the doctor how it happened, but there is no apparent cause. It just is.

In defense of neatniks

Now to be sure, there are some folks who are definitely a bit too… intense about their preciseness and forget that misspeaking is different than being a heretic. Likewise, one can be so focused on the trees that they miss the forest (which a frustration I’ve got with a book I’m reading with my men’s group right now). But I wonder if sometimes we label some folks theological neatniks as a cover for our own sloppiness? That rather than own up to a mistake or do the hard work of making sure that what we’re saying is actually right in the first place, we allow our pride to take over and brush it off by saying, “Stop being such a nitpick!”

Three lessons from shutting down our home business

Ten years ago, I purchased my first domain name and web hosting package. Emily and I were fresh out of school and ready to take on the world as graphic designers for hire. Earlier this year, we shuttered it for good.

Between running this blog, writing books, raising a family with three very young children, serving in our church, facilitating a small group, creating stock art, and—oh yeah!—my day job, it was pretty clear something had to give. And the thing that lost was the business. Here are three things we learned in the process.

Life after home ownership

This week Emily and I are celebrating the one year anniversary of officially no longer being home owners. (Emily celebrated by making brownies.) As long-time readers may recall, we spent eleven months between August 2010 and July 2011 deciding and preparing to sell our home, trying to sell it on our own, having two deals fall through and finally getting it sold when we went with an agent.

Now, a year later, are there any regrets?

Nope.

Three lies we tell ourselves about marriage: my spouse is the problem

I remember some of the first fights that Emily and I had as a married couple. Most were over pretty silly things… but not always. One evening, I came home after another frustrating and unfulfilling men’s ministry play date (there was no real “ministry” happening; it was just a bunch of dudes whose wives signed them up to get together). Emily could see that I was annoyed (I don’t like using my time in unproductive ways) and she wisely told me the truth:

“You need to quit.”

Rejoice! We serve a precise God

This is great news for us; because God is precise, we get to live in confident expectation that the promises He offers will come to pass. That when we place our trust in Christ and in His finished work on the cross, we will most assuredly stand with Him in glory at the end of the age.

Backpedaling and public Christianity

We need to take great care in not being too quick to give an off-the-cuff response to anything. As much as we are able, we need to think carefully about what we are going to say in any and every situation. I realize that mistakes happen; sometimes we let something slip against our better judgment, me especially. Only the Lord is fully aware of how much folly has come from my mouth. But when we see ongoing patterns of foolish talk coming from our mouths, should we not consider seeking assistance and accountability?

Disciples, deal with difficult texts

A number of years ago, I went on my first missions trip. At the time I was excited, but really wrestling with questions of what I was supposed to be doing with my life, frustrated and a little bitter when I saw others around me—some friends and some not-so-much—finding great success. Rather than rejoice at the good fortune of friends who the Lord had blessed, I found myself grumbling over the fact that others who I was working harder than those finding good fortune.

“Didn’t I deserve better?” I thought.”Why was I being treated so unfairly…”

“Where was God in all this?”

Strengths and weaknesses of working on an iPad

Several months ago, I bought an iPad. While we are, in general, Apple aficionados in the Armstrong house, this wasn’t a random gadget purchase. For a while Emily and I have wondered, “What if you don’t have your laptop available to you—what’s your backup?”

Well, last week my laptop became unavailable after an unexpected fall that left it more or less a fancy paperweight. So since Thursday morning I’ve been using my iPad for everything.

All my updates on the blog. All my correspondence. Even my work for my day job (when I’ve not been busy recuperating from a nasty cold.

So far, the experience has been interesting. There are a lot of positives and a few drawbacks as well. Here are a few of the strengths and weaknesses I’ve found so far:

Strength: Great apps keep you from missing a step.

I love Pages for the iPad for word processing. It’s got terrific functionality and a very clean interface. Whenever I’ve been working in it, generally I’ve been a happy camper. However, there are a few things it can’t do, like read annotations made with Word’s reviewing tools. That’s where CloudOn comes in. This app gives you all the features you need when collaborating with Word users, allowing you to accept changes, respond to their comments and more—which worked out well for me on Friday when I needed to work on a very important project.

Weakness: WordPress’ dashboard interface isn’t tablet-friendly enough (yet).

I love WordPress as a content management system and blogging platform. They’ve made some wonderful improvements in getting the dashboard mobile friendly and having an app that’s pretty decent.

However, many of the functions available are painful to try and use on an iPad. Accessing your media library or formatting text, come readily to mind. Personally, I’ve found that it’s not worth the hassle to try to add an image at this point. I’m sure there are some major improvements on the way with WordPress 3.5 and beyond, but for now, it’s left me a bit cold.

Weakness: You’re going to need accessories.

The iPad’s on-screen keyboard is great for short tasks like writing an email or a Facebook or Twitter update, but for anything more intensive, you’re going to need some additional hardware. My iPad’s case includes a very thin keyboard—so thin that it’s practically a touchscreen itself—which is really nice for travelling or taking notes in a meeting, but when I’m settled somewhere, my larger wireless keyboard is a better option. (Also there’s something comforting about the clackity-clack of keys when you’re typing, I don’t know what it is.)

Strength: The iPad forces you to focus.

You can really only do one thing at a time with an iPad, which is a wonderful gift to those of us who are easily distracted. Distraction kills productivity and destroys excellence in our work. It’s why we’re seeing new apps show up for our laptops and desktop computers and plug-ins for our browsers to keep us away from Facebook or other sites when we should be working…

This has probably been my favorite thing about working on the iPad full-time over the last few days. I’m only doing one thing, and it’s taking me less time to do it (or rather, it’s taking me the same amount of time without the distractions).

Strength: The iPad forces you to adapt.

Because there’s no mouse and no trackpad for the iPad, you are forced to adapt. Admittedly this has been the most difficult part for me of the whole experience. There are some things that are just easier to do with a cursor, at least for now. Probably my biggest struggle has been with correcting spelling and not accidentally copying in a block of text that’s on my clipboard (this happened at least three times during the writing of this article, by the way).

But it’s fun to figure out the mechanics of how to work on a totally different set-up and find out that, with some minor tweaking, you can do most of what you need to do without too much fuss.

Would I go full-time permanently?

I’ve wondered about this for a while. In theory, I could probably do it, after getting used to a few things and making sure I’ve got all the right apps and accessories. But there are some things I can’t do (or at least, I’ve not figured out how to yet).

I like doing the occasional bit of design work for the blog or for an eBook, but there aren’t a lot of good tools out there for the iPad—and maybe there shouldn’t be. I might change my mind, but for now, the thing I appreciate the most about the iPad is its simplicity. I can write a significant amount of text easily and effectively. I can store it and distribute it with ease. Used strictly as a writing tool, it’s wonderful. But for the rest, maybe it’s better to leave those to other tools. In a pinch, though, I’m more than happy to work on an iPad.

Kindles, iPads and the Digital Reading Experience

ipad-2

Late in 2011, I broke down and purchased my first Kindle, and at the beginning of 2012, wrote about what I loved so far and what I didn’t love so much. In March, while in Nashville, I upgraded my Kindle to the Touch (Emily is now enjoying my original Kindle) and that pretty much took care of most of my complaints about the Kindle experience. Then, a few months later, I did something crazy:

I bought an iPad.

(This is really only crazy from my perspective–I usually don’t go on a huge tech binge like I’ve done this year.)

This summer gave me the opportunity to try a lot of different kinds of digital reading experiences, from the Kindle for iPad app, the Kindle itself and a dipping a toe into iBooks as well. How’d I like them? Here’s my take:

Kindle Touch

I love touch-screen interfaces. This was, pretty much, the biggest frustration I had with my original Kindle (that and it being useless for note taking). The on-screen keyboard, while a little clunky, is super-easy to use and I’m so glad they upgraded the highlighting function to cross pages when necessary. Grabbing highlights from personal documents is easy (just connect to a computer and open the text file), sharing is no problem, text is sharp… all in all, the Kindle Touch offers a terrific reading experience. In fact, it’s my primary reading device when I’m at home. When I’m out, though, that’s another story.

Kindle for iPad

As much as I love the Kindle Touch reading experience, I don’t like always travelling with multiple devices. It’s a bit awkward to be carrying around the Kindle and a laptop and an iPad, y’know? So when I’m out and about during the day, I take my iPad with me. What I love about the Kindle for iPad app is it keeps track of progress across devices (when connected to WiFi), has decent highlighting and note taking tools, and sharing quotes is still a snap. Whenever I’m reading a book purchased from Amazon, my highlights are stored online at kindle.amazon.com, which is helpful.

The one thing I’ve not done (yet) is read a personal document on it. Honestly, I’m kind of afraid to. The concern I have there is that I won’t be able to access any highlights or notes I make (I’m not sure if they come across to the primary Kindle device or not—I know they’re not stored online, though). And because I do so much reading for review purposes, I really need those. (If a reader knows how to do this and can tell me, I will be in his or her debt.)

The one thing I really loved reading on the iPad was a graphic novel. This summer, I was challenged to read some “fun” books as I am a giant nerd. So, I bought a Superman graphic novel and read that, which was awesome. The colors were vibrant, the images were clear… It was definitely something I’d be happy to do again sometime.

But this year I didn’t limit myself to just the Kindle and the Kindle app. I tried one more, with less than favorable results.

iBooks

I’m an Apple geek. We have multiple iDevices kicking about our home and that’s likely not going to change anytime soon. However, iBooks is by far the worst reading app I’ve used so far. While, visually, it’s nice and clear, but that’s pretty much it if you’re not reading an ePub book. If you’re reading a PDF, you’ve got nothing but the little bookmark thing and that’s it. While I’ve not given up on the app entirely, it’s definitely not been a favorite of mine so far.

Although I’m not 100 percent sold on any one type of digital reading experience (I’ve not tried the Kobo app yet and haven’t really gotten into some of the others that are out there), the Kindle and Kindle app are definitely my favorites at this stage, if for no other reason than I have so many Kindle books. I suspect they’ll continue to be my top choices for the foreseeable future.

Are you a digital reader? What’s your preference for device/app?

I’m Looking for A Few Good (Guest) Bloggers

Last year, I took a few weeks off from the blog during August. It was terrific to unplug, unwind and read some really great content from a number of different voices. In fact, it was such a great experience, I’m doing it again!

If you’ve got something you think needs to be shared with the world I’d like to provide a platform for some other bloggers with 10-15 posts in the month of August. If you’d like to submit something, here are a few details you need to know:

  1. You should have an active blog (although if you don’t, it’s not the end of the world)
  2. You need to be familiar with the flavor of Blogging Theologically and be willing to write material that will be in line thematically
  3. Your content needs to be encouraging to God’s people and glorifying to God
  4. Your guest posts must be submitted to me by July 18

Think you’re up for it? Send me an email, tell me what you want to write about and we’ll talk about what collaborating looks like.

Looking forward to your responses!

The Backlist: The Top Ten Posts on Blogging Theologically


Let’s take a trip back in time to see the top ten posts in March:

  1. Everyday Theology: God Won’t Give You More Than You Can Handle (July 2009)
  2. Everyday Theology: God helps those who help themselves (July 2009)
  3. John Piper on Mark Driscoll & John MacArthur (May 2009)
  4. The Dos and Don’ts of Book Reviews (or at least how I do them) (January 2011)
  5. Book Review: Real Marriage by Mark and Grace Driscoll (December 2011)
  6. His Name was Smeagol (April 2010)
  7. Book Review: Love Wins by Rob Bell (March 2011)
  8. 3 Reasons Why I’m Hopeful About the A29 Leadership Change (March 2012)
  9. #Kindle Deals for the Christian Reader (March 2012)
  10. Should Christians “Name Names”? (March 2012)

And just for fun, here’s the next ten:

  1. Lessons from Nehemiah (Page)
  2. Notes from #TheGospelProject Webcast (March 2012)
  3. Everyday Theology: Preach the Gospel always, if necessary use words (July 2009)
  4. Solomon’s Advice for Bloggers (March 2012)
  5. Book Reviews (Page)
  6. Everyday Theology (Page)
  7. Book Review: How to Read the Bible through the Jesus Lens by Michael Williams (March 2012)
  8. Meet Hudson (March 2012)
  9. Where Is Jesus In The Old Testament? (June 2011)
  10. Book Review: From the Resurrection to His Return by D.A. Carson (March 2012)

If you haven’t had a chance to read any of these posts, I hope you’ll take a few minutes today to check them out.

Links I Like

Not sure if this is going to be a regular feature or an occasional thing, but here are a few links I like:

Watch the Ligonier 2012 National Conference Live

The 2012 Ligonier National Conference, “The Christian Mind,” starts Thursday at 1pm EDT. During the conference R.C. Sproul will be joined by Sinclair Ferguson,Robert GodfreyMichael HortonSteven J. LawsonAlbert MohlerStephen MeyerR.C. Sproul Jr., and Del Tackett. Together they’ll consider the importance of building a Christian worldview, the role of education in the Christian life, science and God’s natural revelation, defending the faith, and many other topics.

Simply visit live.ligonier.org, give a gift of any amount to help cover this significant cost to the ministry, and we will provide you with a link to watch the 2012 National Conference live. However, if you are a Ministry Partner, attending the conference, or cannot afford to make a donation, we offer you the live stream without additional cost.

God’s Work, Our Response

Justin Holcomb:

The whole point of God’s initiative is illustrated in Mark 1:16–20 when Jesus begins gathering his disciples. It’s very important that Jesus was seeking his own disciples, because the custom was for disciples to seek out their own teachers. But of course it makes sense that the one who came to seek and save the lost would begin by seeking out his disciples himself.

Homosexuality and the RCA: A Call for Action, Consistency, and Faithfulness

Kevin DeYoung:

For several years the Reformed Church in America has approached the issue of homosexuality as an opportunity to have our cake and eat it too. On the one hand, we have numerous official statements which condemn homosexual behavior and affirm the normativity of heterosexual marriage between a man and a woman. And on the other hand, we can easily compile a growing number of incidents where our official statements are being disregarded with apparent immunity. We have a position that says one thing and a practice that allows for another. The time has come for the RCA to make up its mind on homosexuality. There are basically two different paths the denomination can take.

The Gospel Project Webcast

Just a quick reminder that the Gospel Project webcast will start at 2 pm CDT; really looking forward to seeing this content rolled out. Watch it live here.

“Trouble Will Soon Be Over”

[tentblogger-youtube D3OFo8MFNkE]

HT: Ray Ortlund