$5 Fridays at Ligonier

Every Friday, Ligonier Ministries offers a selection of excellent resources from R.C. Sproul, Joel R. Beeke, Sinclair Ferguson and many other gifted Bible teachers for $5 each. These resources are fantastic gift to believers seeking to dig deeper in their faith. There are some fantastic deals this week, so check them out:


What’s So Great about the Doctrines of Grace? by Richard D. Phillips (Hardcover)

In What’s So Great About the Doctrines of Grace?, the Rev. Richard D. “Rick” Phillips shows that “the doctrines of grace,” those theological tenets more popularly known as “the five points of Calvinism,” are comforting, faith-strengthening, and humbling teachings. In six short chapters, Rev. Phillips demonstrates conclusively from Scripture that this view of salvation exalts God and makes plain His great love for man, which drove Him to do all that was necessary to redeem a people for Himself.

The Bride of Christ by R.C. Sproul (Audio Download)

In this series, Dr. R.C. Sproul provides an overview of ecclesiology, the doctrine of the Church. Dr. Sproul explains how the truth of Scripture is the basis for Church unity and discusses the marks of a biblical Church.

In Christ Alone: Living the Gospel-Centered Life by Sinclair Ferguson (eBook Download)

Noted theologian, pastor, and educator Dr. Sinclair B. Ferguson explores aspects of the person and work of Jesus in his latest book, In Christ Alone: Living the Gospel-Centered Life. This collection of articles is designed to help believers gain a better understanding of their Savior and the Christian faith, and to live out that faith in their day-to-day lives. In Christ Alone is packed full of nuggets of Scriptural truth that will spark and fan the flames of the believer’s love for the Savior who is so beautiful in His person and so faithful in His work on behalf of His beloved sheep.

Ligonier’s $5 Friday sale runs until 8 a.m. Eastern Time Saturday morning.


Note: This is not a paid post, however, I am part of Ligonier’s affiliate program. As such, I earn a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Around the Interweb

What Do the Religions Teach About God?

Jonathan Dodson:

Is the belief that all religious paths lead to the same God more enlightened or educated? Well, all religions teach very different things about whom God is and how to reach him. In fact, there is a lot of disagreement between the religions regarding the nature of God. Buddhism, for example, doesn’t believe in God. Islam teaches an impersonal monotheism, Allah. The Koran states that God reveals his will, but not his personChristianity teaches a personal trinitarianism, where God is three persons in relationship, Father-Son-Spirit that can be known and enjoyed. Hinduism is all over the map on this question, ranging from polytheism to atheism. The reason for this is because there is an absence of definitive revelation to clarify their “theology.” Instead Hinduism has multiple sources of revelation (Upanishads, Vedas, etc.). Contrary to Islam, Hinduism has no presuppositions about the nature of God. In short, religious views of God differ. If so, it would seen far from “enlightened” or educated to claim that all religions lead to the same God, when their views of God are, in fact, radically different. The claim of the religious pluralist contradicts the tenants of the religions themselves.

Read the whole thing.

Also Worth Reading

Prayer: Praying for Your Pastor

Ministry: In Praise of Sabbaticals

Interviews: Dollar for a Drink: An Interview with Joshua Guthrie

Free Books: ChristianAudio.com’s free audio book of the month is Hannah Coulter.

Interviews: Keiki Hendrix over at the Vessel Project interviewed me about my story, book reviews and ministry.

E-books: Earlier this week, I updated my list of cheap Kindle books. Go check them out. If you find any others, let me know!

In Case You Missed It

Here are a few of this week’s notable posts:

Introducing This Month’s Guest Bloggers

Brian Hedges: Kill Sin, Don’t Try To Tame It

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones: I Cannot Arrive at God by My Own Unaided Efforts

Book Review: Did Adam and Eve Really Exist? by C. John Collins

Iain Murray: The Damage Done By the Dogmatism of Controversies

J. Gresham Machen: The Unparalleled Impoverishment of Human Life

$5 Fridays at Ligonier

Every Friday, Ligonier Ministries offers a selection of excellent resources from R.C. Sproul, Joel R. Beeke, Sinclair Ferguson and many other gifted Bible teachers for $5 each. These resources are fantastic gift to believers seeking to dig deeper in their faith. Plus, save an additional 10 percent storewide this month when you use code LMAUG10.

There are some fantastic deals this week, including one of my favorite commentaries! Check them out:


John by R.C. Sproul (Hardcover and e-book)

In John, the second volume in the St. Andrew’s Expositional Commentary series, Dr. Sproul deals with major themes in his easily understandable style. Readers will find invaluable insights into the goals John had in writing his Gospel, the background for Jesus’ time, and the meanings of some of John’s most difficult passages. This introduction to the Gospel of John is packed with insights and exhortations that will draw the reader closer to the Savior and encourage him or her to a greater depth of love and devotion to Him.

John presents the fruits of Dr. R.C. Sproul’s lifetime of biblical study as expressed in his most recent calling. After a long and distinguished ministry as a teacher in various settings, Dr. Sproul accepted a call in 1997 to preach at St. Andrew’s in Sanford, Florida. There, he adopted the ancient practice of preaching through books of the Bible, eventually working his way through several of them. He has now begun to adapt those sermon series in book form, and the result is the St. Andrew’s Expositional Commentary series.

This is, by far, one of my favorite commentaries on John. I would highly recommend you get this book, if you get nothing else this week!

The Promise Keeper: The God of the Covenants by R.C. Sproul (Audio & Video Download)

These days there is a lot of talk about promises. Most of the time, the focus is on man’s promises rather than on God’s promises. But as we have all experienced, the promises of sinful man fail time and time again.

In this series, Dr. R.C. Sproul demonstrates that the one, true Promise Keeper always keeps His promises. Dr. Sproul explains how God, throughout history, has fulfilled His promised plan of redemption in and through His people.

What is Reformed Theology? by R.C. Sproul (Audio & Video Download)

You’ve heard of Reformed theology, but you’re not certain what it is. Some references to it have been positive, some negative. It appears to be important, and you’d like to know more about it. And you want a full explanation, not a simplistic one.

Few evangelical Christians today understand Reformed theology. They know it has something to do with predestination, and they may have heard of “the five points.” But they can’t name these points, and they think no one believes most of them anymore. Dr. Sproul says there’s more to Reformed theology than these five points. Reformed theology reveals just how awesome the grace of God is.

The roots of evangelical Christianity are found in the soil of the sixteenth century Protestant Reformation, which brought a return of true biblical theology to the world. In this series, Dr. Sproul offers an introduction to Reformed theology, the heart of historical evangelicalism. C.H. Spurgeon once said that Reformed theology is nothing other than biblical Christianity.

This is another highlight for me; the book that resulted from this teaching was hugely helpful in my understanding of the five points of Calvinism, particularly limited atonement. I’d highly recommend it.

The Priest with Dirty Clothes by R.C. Sproul (Audiobook CD)

In this new edition of his classic story, The Priest with Dirty Clothes, Dr. R.C. Sproul continues his project of illustrating theological concepts for children. In this book, he teaches the concept of imputation, which lies at the heart of the important biblical doctrine of justification.

Using the story of Joshua the high priest (Zechariah 3:1–5) as his jumping-off point, Dr. Sproul weaves a classic tale about a young priest who is invited to preach his first sermon before the king and his court. But on his way to the palace, he falls from his horse, getting his clothes hopelessly muddy. Jonathan finds that he needs powerful help if he is to stand before the king. This edition of The Priest with Dirty Clothes includes all-new illustrations by Justin Gerard and a new “For the Parents” section to help them bring out the truths of the book for their children.

Ligonier’s $5 Friday sale runs until 8 a.m. Eastern Time Saturday morning. Don’t forget, you save an additional 10 percent storewide this month when you use code LMAUG10.


Note: This is not a paid post, however, I am part of Ligonier’s affiliate program. As such, I earn a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Introducing This Month’s Guest Bloggers

When I initially put out the call for guest bloggers, I was blown away by the response—and even more thankful for the content that has been delivered. Next week I’m starting my blog-sabbatical and there are some amazing people coming in to help me out, including:

  • Matt Ford, Pastor of Fountain of Life Fellowship Church
  • Chris Poblete, Executive Director of The Gospel for OC
  • Dr. Brian Mattson, Senior Scholar of Public Theology, Center for Cultural Leadership
  • Amber Van Schooneveld, author and blogger
  • Aron Utecht, Pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church
  • Daniel Darling, pastor and author

All in all, about a dozen people have kindly agreed to help out while I’m away. With their excellent material, as well as a few repackaged posts from days of yore, this is going to be a good month for content. Here’s a preview of what’s coming up in the next few weeks:

  • Tipping Sacred Cows
  • A 3-step Approach to Sin
  • Meditations on the Apostles’ Creed
  • Displacing the Deep Idols

And that’s just a taste. There’s a lot of great material coming your way and I’m incredibly thankful for all the fine folks God has provided to fill in for me.

What will I be doing while I’m away? Aside from enjoying a week in Northern Ontario, the land of spotty wi-fi connections, my family will be wrapping up all our packing for the big move, which happens on August 26-27. Prayers would be appreciated for that. Looking forward to coming back in September!

The Backlist: The Top Ten Posts on Blogging Theologically

Let’s take a look back in time and see the most-read posts from July. Go check them out:

  1. Everyday Theology: God Won’t Give You More Than You Can Handle
  2. His Name was Smeagol
  3. Book Review: Erasing Hell by Francis Chan and Preston Sprinkle
  4. Everyday Theology: God helps those who help themselves
  5. John Piper on Mark Driscoll & John MacArthur
  6. Book Review: Love Wins by Rob Bell
  7. The Next Great Book Giveaway!
  8. (Cheap) Christian E-Books for Your Kindle!
  9. Book Reviews
  10. Everyday Theology: Preach the Gospel always, if necessary use words

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

  1. When God Wants a Man
  2. Who Writes This?
  3. Eleven Months
  4. Book Review: Radical Together by David Platt
  5. Though Ryle Be Dead, Yet He Speaks! Erik Kowalker on J.C. Ryle and JCRyleQuotes.com
  6. There Is No Hope In Trying Hard
  7. Jesus Is Right, Not You
  8. Fear Not God’s Promise To Make You Holy
  9. We Don’t Want To Obey God, We Want to Be God
  10. Lord, Do It Again!

July’s top ten is, once again, a nice mix of old and new material. The review of Erasing Hell was this month’s top piece of all-new content, which is nice to see. I also have just happened upon an extra copy, so I may be giving away one in the near future. As always, I’m grateful to the publishers that sponsor giveaways here, and Crossway offered a wonderful prize pack this time. Looking forward to doing another one soon.

One thing I’m really happy to see in the top ten is “Preach the Gospel always, if necessary use words” from the “Everyday Theology” series. This was a fun piece to write (nearly two years ago now!) and a topic I think I want to revisit at some point. All in all, another very rewarding month here.

That’s enough from me—now it’s your turn: If you have a blog, what were a couple of the highlights for you in the past month?

Around the Interweb

How to Recognize a Wolf-in-the-Making

John Piper:

Let me just mention one feature to watch out for in the recognition of wolves. As I have watched the movement from biblical faithfulness to liberalism in persons and institutions that I have known over the years, this feature stands out: An emotional disenchantment with faithfulness to what is old and fixed, and an emotional preoccupation with what is new or fashionable or relevant in the eyes of the world.

Let’s try to say it another way: when this feature is prevalent, you don’t get the impression that a person really longs to bring his mind and heart into conformity to fixed biblical truth. Instead you see the desire to picture biblical truth as unfixed, fluid, indefinable, distant, inaccessible, and so open to the trends of the day.

So what marks a possible wolf-in-the-making is not simply that he rejects or accepts any particular biblical truth, but that he isn’t deeply oriented on the Bible. He is more oriented on experience. He isn’t captured by the great old faith once for all delivered to the saints. Instead he’s enamored by what is new and innovative.

A good elder can be creative. But the indispensable mark when it comes to doctrinal fitness is faithfulness to what is fixed in Scripture—disciplined, humble submission to the particular affirmations of the Bible—carefully and reverently studied and explained and cherished. When that spirit begins to go, there’s a wolf-in-the-making.

HT: Desiring God

Also Worth Reading

Addiction: Why Going to Rehab Won’t Fix It

Young, Frustrated and Reformed: Julian Freeman offers two posts related to John MacArthur’s new series intended to give counsel to the “Young, Restless and Reformed” crowd: You Just Don’t Get Me… and Five Thoughts & a White Flag: Now Time to Listen. Both are well worth your time.

Media: Three Reasons the Media So Quickly Embraced the Label “Fundamentalist Christian” for Norway’s Terrorist

Technology: This looks really nifty:

[tentblogger-youtube 8vN1yw67hyc]

In Case You Missed It

Here are a few of this week’s notable posts:

We Don’t Want To Obey God, We Want to Be God

Book Review: Reformation by Carl R. Trueman

John Stott: A Humble Mind

Sermon Audio: Justified and Assured

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones: Always Be Thinking Of The End

Andrew Murray: To Be A Branch Bearing Much Fruit Should Be Our Only Joy

$5 Fridays at Ligonier

Every Friday, Ligonier Ministries offers a selection of excellent resources from R.C. Sproul, Joel R. Beeke, Sinclair Ferguson and many other gifted Bible teachers for $5 each. These resources are fantastic gift to believers seeking to dig deeper in their faith.

Most of my picks for this week are downloads—and if you’re like me, that’s a feature that comes in mighty handy when there’s a really long drive coming up. Check them out:


Pleasing God by R.C. Sproul (Audio & Video Download)

Pleasing God offers practical guidelines for Christian living. Here R.C. Sproul shows us how to be diligent in overcoming our enemies: the world, the flesh, and the devil. This series is an encouraging, no-nonsense look at the lifelong process of sanctification.

The Assurance of  Salvation by R.C. Sproul (Audio & Video Download)

In 2 Peter, Peter exhorts all who read his letter to make their calling and election sure by diligently pursuing the fruit of the Spirit. “For in this way,” he writes, “there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:11, ESV).

In this series, Dr. R.C. Sproul addresses the importance of living in pursuit of holiness over against “easy believism.” He explores the doctrine of assurance as he helps to explain the relationship between the Christian life and the work of Christ Jesus on our behalf.

Roman Catholicism by R.C. Sproul (Audio Download)

The Roman Catholic Church claims to be the one, true church established by Jesus Christ. The Reformers of the sixteenth century rejected this claim, pointing to numerous conflicts between Scripture and Roman Catholic doctrine and practice. What are the differences that divide Roman Catholics and Protestants? Are they important? In this series, R.C. Sproul carefully and respectfully looks at the doctrines that are at the heart of the Catholic-Protestant divide.

My encouragement would be that if you’re going to get one of these, you should get all three as each is so closely connected to the others.

Johnathan Edwards: A Mini-Theology by Dr. John Gerstner (Hardcover)

Before he wrote his massive Rational Biblical Theology of Jonathan Edwards, Dr. Gerstner wrote this introduction to the theology of the great New England Puritan. There are eleven chapters on such topics as “Reason and Revelation”, “The Trinity”, “Man and His Fall”, “Sin”, “The Atonement”, “Justification”, “Sanctification”, and several others. If you simply want an introduction and overview of Edwards’ theology, this is what you’ve been looking for.

Ligonier’s $5 Friday sale runs until 8 a.m. Eastern Time Saturday morning.


Note: This is not a paid post, however, I am part of Ligonier’s affiliate program. As such, I earn a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Around the Interweb

A Pastor Who Reads His Journals

Darryl Dash (guesting at Trevin’s site):

Pastors, like doctors, face the temptation not to study. There’s little short-term payoff for study. Nobody in my church is begging me to read Calvin’s Institutes or John Frame’s The Doctrine of the Word of God. In fact, they roll their eyes if I talk about these books too much. They have no idea how much they need me to read them. . . .We need doctors and pastors who read their journals. I pray for pastors who can provide substantial help for their people because they continue to feast on what God has revealed, and because they’re doing the hard work of translating theological truth in the service of the church.

Read the whole thing.

Also Worth Reading

Gospel: How Would You Summarize the New Testament in Three Words?

Culture: Reparative Therapy, Homosexuality, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ

Leadership: Good leaders are good listeners

Reading: (Cheap) Christian E-Books for Your Kindle!

In Case You Missed It

Here are a few of this week’s notable posts:

Martin Luther: Christ Is No Tyrant, But The Giver Of Grace

Book reviews:

  1. Tempted and Tried by Russell D. Moore
  2. “O” God by Josh McDowell and Dave Sterrett

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones: The Flesh Can Counterfeit Almost Anything

Preaching and Pragmatism

Andrew Murray: Abide In Christ, The Crucified One

 

Around the Interweb

The Most Risky Profession

Mark Galli on why we need to be praying for our pastors:

What makes the pastor’s job even more spiritually vulnerable is the expectation that he also be the cathartic head of the church—someone with whom members can identify and live through vicariously. Someone who articulates their fears and hopes, someone to whom they can relate—at a distance. This is key, because the pastor has time to relate to very, very few members. Thus it is all the more important that he be able to communicate in public settings the personable, humble, vulnerable, and likable human being he is.

Thus, preaching in the modern church has devolved into the pastor telling stories from his own life. The sermon is still grounded in some biblical text, and there is an attempt to articulate what that text means today. But more and more, pastors begin their sermons and illustrate their points repeatedly from their own lives. Next time you listen to your pastor, count the number of illustrations that come from his life, and you’ll see what I mean. The idea is to show how this biblical truth meets daily life, and that the pastor has a daily life. All well and good. But when personal illustrations become as ubiquitous as they have, and when they are crafted with pathos and humor as they so often are, they naturally become the emotional cornerstone of the sermon. The pastor’s life, and not the biblical teaching, is what becomes memorable week after week.

Again, this is not because the pastor is egotistical. It’s because, again, we demand this of our preachers…

Read the whole thing.


Also Worth Reading

Ministry: 10 Simple Things Good Pastors Say

Employment: Compassion Canada is looking to fill three new positions in their Marketing & Communications department

Mentors: My guest post at Trevin Wax’s blog, “The Gift of Dead Mentors.

Theology: Justin Holcomb examines the Athanasian Creed.

Preaching: Mark Altrogge on the best sermon you’ll ever preach.


In Case You Missed It

Here are a few of this week’s notable posts:

The Line-Up: What you all told me you want me to write about.

Book Review: Branded by Tim Sinclair

Eleven Months: Reflections on what God’s been teaching us through the eleven month process of preparing and selling our house.

Biblical Authority in an Age of Uncertainty

D.A. Carson: Pragmatism, Spectacular Success and Consistent Discipleship

Andrew Murray: Let Redemption Be The Crown Of Your Christian Life

$5 Fridays at Ligonier

Every Friday, Ligonier Ministries offers a selection of excellent resources from R.C. Sproul, Joel R. Beeke, Sinclair Ferguson and many other gifted Bible teachers for $5 each. These resources are fantastic gift to believers seeking to dig deeper in their faith.

Here are a few items from this week’s selection that I found particularly interesting:


Ultimate Issues by R.C. Sproul (Audio & Video Download)

R.C. Sproul encourages students to question popular notions about the ultimate issues of life. Using videotaped student interviews, he shows the inadequacy of secularism to provide a basis for finding any meaning in life or for making any value judgements at all. He shows that questions of human dignity must rely on a biblical understanding of the nature of God and of man. He discusses arguments for God’s existence, the Bible’s validity, and Christ as the only way. Powerful, timely teaching for young people.

Pillars of Grace by Steven J. Lawson (ebook)

The doctrines of grace are often known as the five points of Calvinism, but they were not the invention of John Calvin or his reforming cohorts of the sixteenth century. Rather, they are biblical doctrines, as Dr. Steven J. Lawson demonstrated in his book Foundations of Grace (2006). Now, in Pillars of Grace, Dr. Lawson shows that the doctrines of grace have been understood and taught—sometimes in embryonic form, sometimes with great clarity—throughout church history. From the time of the early church fathers to the years of the Reformers, there have been key men in the church, pillars as it were, who stood on the foundation of Scripture and upheld the truth of God’s sovereign role in salvation.

In Pillars of Grace, Dr. Lawson walks readers through the ups and downs of church history, profiling these voices for the truth. The inescapable conclusion is that the doctrines of grace are no innovation, but the consistent witness of some of the greatest men of the church.

Defending Your Faith by R.C. Sproul (Audio & Video Download)

In Defending Your Faith: An Overview of Classical Apologetics with R.C. Sproul, Dr. Sproul surveys the history of apologetics and demonstrates that reason and science are your allies in defending the existence of God and the historical truth claims of Jesus Christ. He affirms four logical premises that are necessary for all reasonable discourse, and teaches you how to defend your faith in a faithless world. Furthermore, he points out that there are many levels on which to defend your faith, and shows how apologetics brings comfort and confidence to Christians of all ages.

The Cross and the Crescent by R.C. Sproul & Abdul Saleeb (CD)

What are the differences between Christianity and Islam? In today’s culture, the distinctions have been obscured. In this investigative series, Dr. R.C. Sproul and former Muslim Abdul Saleeb demonstrate how Christianity stands in stark contrast to the claims of Islam.

In discussing the differences between Christian and Islamic theology, Dr. Sproul and Saleeb examine views on God, Christ, Scripture, salvation, and man, and they explain why orthodox Christian theology is fundamentally distinct on every point.

Ligonier’s $5 Friday sale runs until 8 a.m. Eastern Time Saturday morning.


Note: This is not a paid post, however, I am part of Ligonier’s affiliate program. As such, I earn a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Around the Interweb

C.J. Mahaney: Why I’m taking a leave of absence

Over the last few years some former pastors and leaders in Sovereign Grace have made charges against me and informed me about offenses they have with me as well as other leaders in Sovereign Grace. These charges are serious and they have been very grieving to read. These charges are not related to any immorality or financial impropriety, but this doesn’t minimize their serious nature, which include various expressions of pride, unentreatability, deceit, sinful judgment, and hypocrisy.

I believe God is kindly disciplining me through this. I believe I have by the grace of God perceived a degree of my sin, and I have been grieved by my sin and its effects on others.  I have had the opportunity to confess my sin to some of those affected in various ways by my sin. And I am so very grateful for their forgiveness.  But I want to perceive and confess any and all sin I have committed.  Although my experience of conviction has already started—and this is an evidence of God’s mercy—I’m sure there is more for me to perceive and acknowledge.  Even with the charges I disagree with it has been beneficial to examine my soul and ask for the observation of others.  And I am resolved to take responsibility for my sin and every way my leadership has been deficient, and this would include making any appropriate confessions, public or private.  Most importantly I want to please God during this season of examination and evaluation.

Read the whole thing for yourself. Dave Harvey, now acting-president of Sovereign Grace Ministries, offers a few additional comments.

Also Worth Reading

Free Audio: ChristianAudio.com is offering The Millenials by Thom and Jess Rainer as their free audiobook of the month.

Interview: Francis Chan and Mark Galli talk about Rob Bell, Hell and why Erasing Hell is the most difficult book he’s written yet.

Books: Stephen Altrogge shares a few of the books he’s been digging lately

Deals: Ligonier Ministries is offering 30% off storewide through the end of the day. Use code SAVE30 at checkout.

In Case You Missed It

Here are a few of this week’s notable posts:

Book Review: Erasing Hell by Francis Chan and Preston Sprinkle

Sermon Audio: The Perfect Worshipper

Know Your Audience

Ray Ortlund: “Heaven is Taking Over. Yield.

Andrew Murray: Fear Not God’s Promise To Make You Holy

 

$5 Fridays at Ligonier

Every Friday, Ligonier Ministries offers a selection of excellent resources from R.C. Sproul, Joel R. Beeke, Sinclair Ferguson and many other gifted Bible teachers for $5 each. These resources are fantastic gift to believers seeking to dig deeper in their faith. Plus, use coupon code LIGONIER10 to save an additional 10 percent across the Ligonier store.

Here are a few items from this week’s selection that I found particularly interesting:


Wisdom by R.C. Sproul (Audio Download)

Dr. R.C. Sproul explores this topic by surveying five Old Testament books known as the “wisdom books.” He explains that to the early Hebrews wisdom meant an understanding of how to live a life pleasing to God. He teaches that the Hebrew believer was in awe of God and feared Him, much like a child who adores and respects his father, and therefore fears doing anything that would violate their loving relationship.

The Masculine Mandate: God’s Calling To Men by Rev. Richard D. Phillips (ebook)

There is a crying need in the church today for men to be men. But competing visions for what a man is to be —some growing out of popular culture and others arising from flawed teaching in the church—are exacerbating the problem.

Rev. Richard D. Phillips believes the problem and the inadequate solutions being put forward demand sound exegesis of biblical passages relating to masculinity. The Bible alone has the answer to what men are to be in the eyes of their Creator.

In this book, Rev. Phillips provides this essential exegesis and issues a call to reformation in the evangelical church’s attitude toward the role of men in the family, the church, and society.

Incidentally, this is one of the best books I’ve read on the subject of what it means to be a godly man. It also includes questions for small groups or personal reflections. Very practical and helpful.

The Lightlings by R.C. Sproul (DVD)

The Lightlings come to life through this colorful and powerful animatic, available for the first time from Ligonier Ministries. Watch the beautiful illustrations dance across the screen to a musical soundtrack as Dr. Sproul tells the story of these tiny beings.

In The Lightlings, Dr. R.C. Sproul weaves an allegorical tale that captures the essence of the biblical story of redemption in a manner that will fascinate and delight children. A race of tiny beings known as lightlings are a picture of humanity as they pass through all the stages of the biblical drama – creation, fall, and redemption. In the end, children will understand why some people fear light more than darkness, but why they need never fear darkness again. CD audiobook also included.

This is one of our favorite children’s stories here at the Armstrong house—the DVD is a nice way to engage your kids with the story.

Knowing Christ: The I AM Sayings of Jesus by R.C. Sproul (Audio & Video Download)

The apostle John distinctively presents Jesus as the Logos, the eternal Word of God. Through Him the cosmos was created, and through Him the Father is most perfectly revealed.

In this new series, Dr. R.C. Sproul examines John’s record of the eight unique “I AM” sayings of Jesus, all of which are powerful expressions of His saving relationship to His people, and uses God’s Word to bring us to a deeper understanding of the God-man as both protector and nurturer of His people.

This is one that I’ll definitely be getting for myself; listening to Dr. Sproul’s teaching is an excellent way to use the commute to work or a road trip (like the one we’re going on this weekend). A Study Guide is also available for this teaching series.

Ligonier’s $5 Friday sale runs until 8 a.m. Eastern Time Saturday morning. Remember, use coupon code LIGONIER10 to save 10 percent on your order.

BONUS: July 9-10 only, save 30% storewide by using code SAVE30!


Note: This is not a paid post, however, I am part of Ligonier’s affiliate program. As such, I earn a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Know Your Audience

So Tuesday afternoon I received an unexpected surprise—an article I’d written for the Gospel Coalition had been reposted.

At Relevant Magazine.

While surprising, it was also kind of cool as it put a piece that overall both my editor and I were pretty happy with in front of a different sort of audience. The response has also been… interesting. Some folks really resonated with the piece; others, not so much. Others still had some really helpful critiques that I would absolutely implement if I were writing the article again today.

This experience has reminded me of something really valuable when it comes to writing:

You have to know your audience. 

While I always try to write as broadly as possible, there are inevitably some assumptions that I make. When I write here or at TGC, for example, I tend to allow my theological convictions to come through a little more strongly than I do anywhere else. In my day job, my convictions are there, but because I’m speaking to a broader audience from a variety of Christian denominations, I tend to temper it appropriately. When I’ve revised and rewritten material for my church’s outreach team I’ve attempted to write with as much clarity as possible, remembering that the intended audience is non-Christian.

But what do you do when something you write shows up somewhere you never anticipated?

A couple things come to mind:

  1. Be clear. The worst thing that I can do is assume that the reader has the same knowledge I have about any subject (this is what the Heath brothers refer to as the curse of knowledge). I need to try to be sensible in my writing, giving enough explanation, maybe leaving a little bit of appropriate “white space”, but not overdoing it by overexplaining everything.
  2. Be thoughtful. Make sure I don’t reinforce stereotypes or promote caricatures of any position I may disagree with if an article addresses potentially controversial subject matter.
  3. Don’t worry. At the end of the day, I’ve got no control where any article I write for this blog or any other ends up. While I can do my best to be clear and thoughtful, I’m never going to please everyone, nor should I try.

Now, it’s your turn: What are some factors you think is important for writers to keep in mind as they write?

Around the Interweb

We’re Worse Than Broken

Randy Newman saved me the trouble of writing this:

For believers, the word doesn’t go deep enough to move us forward in sanctification. God describes our sin many ways—almost all of which are far worse than “broken.” We’re rebellious, idolatrous, lost, enslaved, disobedient, adulterous, and—in case the point wasn’t pressed far enough—dead. If we see our sin as mere brokenness, our repentance and abhorrence at sin won’t push us in the opposite direction hard enough. And our appreciation of the cross as the only cure will be replaced with self-effort and legalism.

Read the rest

Also Worth Reading

Commentary: Bell, Hell and What We Did Well

Grace: How God Changed Thomas Hurst

Sad, But True: Yeah! I’m Gonna Get Stuff Done Today!!

Ministry: Are we really loving our pastors well?

Life: Our Flimsy Faith

In Case You Missed It

Here are a few of this week’s notable posts:

Tell Me What To Write! (Would love to get a couple more good suggestions from you all)

Forrest Gump-ing Your Way to a “Good” Sermon

Book Reviews:

  1. Faithfulness and Holiness by J.I. Packer
  2. We Shall See God by Randy Alcorn

Enlightened Self-Interest is Still Self-Interest

Video & Discussion:

  1. Do Muslims and Christians Worship the Same God?
  2. What is the Church’s Role in Culture?