$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:


Sola Scriptura: The Protestant Position on the Bible by various authors (eBook download)

Sola Scriptura, the formal principle of the Protestant Reformation, is essential to genuine Christianity, for it declares that the Bible is the inspired word of God, the church’s only rule of faith and practice. Yet this doctrine is under assault today as never before, both from outside and and inside the church.

In this book, several leading Reformed pastors and scholars, including Joel Beeke, Sinclair Ferguson, Robert Godfrey, Ray Lanning, John MacArthur, R.C. Sproul, Derek W. H. Thomas, and James White, unpack the meaning of the doctrine of sola Scriptura  (“Scripture alone”). They also explain where the attacks on the Bible are coming from and show how those who accept the Bible as God’s inspired Word should respond. Sola Scriptura: The Protestant Position on the Bible  is a treasure trove of information and a comfort to those who grieve to see the twenty-first-century church wandering away from the safe harbor of the Bible.

Tough Questions Christians Face: 2010 National Conference by various speakers (Audio & Video Download)

Christ has redeemed us to be a light that directs others to Him. Fulfilling this call requires us to be able to deal with the most difficult questions asked about the Christian faith. If we are unprepared for the darkness around us, it will be harder to counter it with the truth of God’s Word.

In this series of lectures from Ligonier Ministries’ 2010 National Conference, Alistair Begg, Michael Horton, Steven J. Lawson, John MacArthur, Albert Mohler, Burk Parsons, R.C. Sproul, R.C. Sproul Jr., and Derek Thomas address some of the most difficult questions that we face as Christians and endeavor to offer biblical answers to assure us and to help us defend the truths of the Christian faith. This conference also features a special mini conference on Christian communication in a hypersocial world.

The Truth of the Cross by R.C. Sproul (Hardcover)

In this book, Dr. R.C. Sproul surveys the great work accomplished by Jesus Christ through His crucifixion — the redemption of God’s people. Dr. Sproul considers the atonement from numerous angles and shows conclusively that the cross was absolutely necessary if anyone was to be saved.

Opening the Scriptures, Dr. Sproul shows that God Himself provided salvation by sending Jesus Christ to die on the cross, and the cross was always God’s intended method by which to bring salvation. The Truth of the Cross is an uncompromising reminder that the atonement of Christ is an absolutely essential doctrine of the Christian faith, one that should be studied and understood by all believers.

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.

What I Learned on My Summer Vacation

Well friends, it appears that I’m officially back to blogging after taking four weeks off in August. Thanks to all my guest bloggers, Chris Poblete, Amber Van Schooneveld, Eliza Huie, Brian Mattson, Matt Ford, Aron Utecht, Tina Williams, Chris Thomson, Don Barton & Dan Darling for bringing their a-game in order to allow me a bit of time away from the blog. (Incidentally, there was sadly a post by Don and one by Andy Catsimanes that were overlooked when I was doing my scheduling—look for both posts to appear this month.)

My time away was very helpful, but didn’t go quite the way I was expecting. Here’s a bit of what I learned during my summer vacation (and no, one of them was not jumping off a piece of wood):

1. My life gets too busy. I’d planned to, by and large, just enjoy a break from extracurricular writing for a few weeks. Instead, I found myself almost overwhelmed with work. My day job went crazy (as day jobs are want to do), we’ve been plowing through the final edits on Awaiting a Savior, we went away for a week… and then came back and moved. I’m generally a pretty high-capacity guy (the size of my work plate is fairly large), but I actually found that I’d maxed out last Monday & had to reschedule plans to see an advanced screening of Courageous so I could actually recover from moving.

2. TV is boring. When we were away, we had the opportunity to sample a bit of cable TV and I don’t think we found even a single thing that was actually worth watching (no reruns of Chuck, even).

3. Books continue to be awesome. While on my official vacation, I had the chance to read Why Johnny Can’t Preach and King Solomon: The Temptations of Money, Sex, and Power. Both are well worth your time. (Look for a review of King Solomon soon.)

4. Scheduling a move for the week after you get back from a week out of town is unbelievably foolish. It was also unfortunately unavoidable. Our vacation was schedule before we had sold our house and we had to be in our new place in time to register our oldest daughter for junior kindergarten.

5. My wife likes it when I take time off. While she’s incredibly supportive of all my ministry endeavors, she really wants me to take every August off from now on. So, as best as I’m able, that’s what I’m going to do.

6. Blogging is still fun. Despite the amount of work it takes at times, blogging is still a lot of fun and a valuable part of my overall ministry. Glad to be back!

So that’s what I learned during my summer vacation. What’s one thing you learned during your summer?

Around the Interweb

Those Tricksy Biblicists

Excellent article from Kevin DeYoung:

Several weeks ago I posted a critical review of Christian Smith’s new book The Bible Made Impossible: Why Biblicism Is Not a Truly Evangelical Reading of Scripture. Since then, Peter Leithart also posted a largely negative review. Joining the fray with a devastating rebuttal of Smith’s book is Robert Gundry’s excellent article in Books and Culture.

Not surprisingly, Christian Smith does not agree with these criticisms. His main rejoinder is that Gundry, Leithart, DeYoung have failed to deal with the main point of his book, namely, that pervasive interpretive pluralism (PIP) undermines biblicism. Responding to Leithart’s review, Smith contends that “his response essentially dodges rather than engages my book’s central argument.” Similarly, commenting on my blog, Smith argues, “Most problematically, DeYoung’s review in the end simply EVADES rather than resolves the central problem of PIP. He does not squarely address and answer the key challenge of my book, namely, that PIP shows biblicism, as a theory about scripture, to be impossible.” In the same vein he concludes: “So, what on first read appears to be a careful book review actually turns out to be scatter-shot and evasive. DeYoung is clearly quite caught up in trying to catch me in (alleged) inconsistencies, meanwhile he never actually responds to the central question of the book. Does that tell us anything?”

Read the rest.


Also worth reading

Fundraising: I’m making a trailer for my upcoming book – would you kindly help me raise the production costs?

Writing: The Joys and Frustrations of a Christian Biographer

Ministry: We’re Pastors and We’re Anxious

Words: Taming the Tongue


In case you missed it

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

Reformed & Reforming: 3 Questions with Carl Trueman

A.W. Pink: He Gives to All, But is Enriched by None

Book Review: If You Bite & Devour One Another by Alexander Strauch

The Apostles’ Creed: A Trailer

The Gift of Dead Mentors

Every Member a Minister?

The Backlist: The Top Ten Posts for August

The Backlist: The Top Ten Posts on Blogging Theologically

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

  1. Everyday Theology: God Won’t Give You More Than You Can Handle
  2. The Male Gossip
  3. His Name was Smeagol
  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. (Cheap) Christian E-Books for Your Kindle!
  8. When Doctrine Isn’t Enough
  9. Announcing My New Book: Awaiting a Savior
  10. Everyday Theology: Preach the Gospel always, if necessary use words

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

  1. Book Review: Erasing Hell by Francis Chan and Preston Sprinkle
  2. When God Wants a Man
  3. Book Review: Radical Together by David Platt
  4. Is Seminary Necessary?
  5. A Tale of Two Fictions
  6. Tipping Sacred Cows
  7. The Surprising Depth of Idolatry
  8. Book Review: Did Adam and Eve Really Exist? by C. John Collins
  9. The Damage Done By the Dogmatism of Controversies
  10. Godly Fear, Amplified Grace

Being away from the blog for most of August allowed for some fantastic guest bloggers to lend a hand—and did their work ever shine! Amber’s post, The Male Gossip, was terrific (and I’m glad to see that it caught Tim Challies’ attention as well—the article caused a great deal of soul searching on my part and in some ways it’s nice to see that I wasn’t alone). I was also extremely grateful that you all seem to be as excited about my new book as I am! Brian Mattson’s series on the Apostles’ Creed has been a fun one to read so far (and will be continuing over the next few weeks!) and I really appreciated Godly Fear, Amplified Grace. Looking forward to writing a bit about what I learned through my time away. Thanks again for making all this month’s guests feel welcome!

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?

$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.