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Poverty and the People of God

Yesterday I had the opportunity to join Kevin Boling on the Knowing the Truth radio program to discuss Awaiting a Savior. If you missed the show, have a listen at Knowing the Truth’s page on Sermon Audio.

The Seduction of Pornography and the Integrity of Christian Marriage

Albert Mohler:

The intersection of pornography and marriage is one of the most problematic issues among many couples today–including Christian couples. The pervasive plague of pornography represents one of the greatest moral challenges faced by the Christian church in the postmodern age. With eroticism woven into the very heart of the culture, celebrated in its entertainment, and advertised as a commodity, it is virtually impossible to escape the pervasive influence of pornography in our culture and in our lives.

True, but not objective

Barnabas Piper:

What is it that convinces us anything is real or true? Proof, objective proof. It’s how we know we can trust a product, person, or perspective.

But what about the Bible? While many treat it like a scientific book that can be proven through processes and argument, it is, in fact, not objectively true. Yes, there are large portions that are historically provable, but the teachings of our Holy Book are not.

‘Just’ a Stay-at-Home Mom

Micha Boyett:

I am a product of second-wave feminism of the 1960s. By the time I was a child in the ’80s, movies were full of women in shoulder-padded jackets leading employees from their corporate desks. The working mom was alive and well, figuring out how to balance her professional and family responsibilities. My grandpa was picking me up after school and watching me until Mom got home from work.

So I came into my stay-at-home mom role slowly, with frequent handwringing and doubts.

DVD Review: Basic – Who is God?

Choosing small group curriculum is never easy, as many a discipleship or small groups pastor can tell you. There is a wealth of great material out there… and more than a few lemons. Having experienced both over the years we’ve led small groups, I was excited and a little nervous about Basic: Who is God? featuring Francis Chan.

Because people in our group are coming from a lot of different places (a couple are even coming out of a different Christian tradition altogether), it was really important to me that we address some of the essential truths of the faith, which the videos do exceptionally well, looking at the Trinity from the perspectives of our need to:

  1. Fear God;
  2. Follow Jesus; and
  3. Embrace the Holy Spirit

Each video is insightful, challenging, beautiful, and sometimes a bit odd. Chan speaks with great conviction about our need to fear God—that the Bible doesn’t describe a reserved reverence but a pants-wetting holy terror of the Lord. But the purpose is not to be afraid, but to realize that when we fear God, we’re free of every other fear. We don’t need to fear anyone or anything else. Equally challenging is his call to follow Jesus—don’t just study what He says, do it. Finally, he reminds participants of the power of the Church’s witness when we’ve embraced the Holy Spirit—radical love, radical generosity, radical fellowship. Many in our group (myself included) were left feeling convicted as we realized that there is a degree to which we’ve become complacent in our relationship with Christ. We don’t always ascribe the fear to God that is His due. We don’t always actively obey. We often resist the Holy Spirit’s leading.

The impression I got as we watched the films and worked our way through the discussion questions for each session (seven in total) was that we need to collectively and personally repent and turn away from a laxidasical attitude toward our relationship with Christ. Certainly this was my experience both as the facilitator and a participant. Working through our follower’s guides individually between meetings, I certainly found myself further challenged to not simply let this study be an intellectual exercise, but look for opportunities to live in light of the truths found within the study. [Read more…]

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Deeper Application

Darryl Dash:

I have a problem with application in sermons. It’s often poorly done. Granted, this is because application is actually one of the hardest parts of preaching. I agree with what Haddon Robinson has said: more heresy is preached in application than in any other part of the sermon.

What to Say When Someone Says, “The Bible Has Errors”

Jonathan Dodson:

Most people question the reliability of the Bible. You’ve probably been in a conversation with a friend or met someone in a coffee shop who said, “How can you be a Christian when the Bible has so many errors?

How should we respond? What do you say?

Instead of asking them to name an error, I suggest you name one or two of them.

In Which I Ask Ann Voskamp’s Forgiveness…

Tim Challies:

Something happened inside me when I saw Ann’s name in my inbox, and that’s what has compelled me to write this little article. Seeing her name brought a sudden and surprising realization and with it a twinge of guilt and remorse. It has happened to me before, this strange feeling that comes when I suddenly realize that the name on the front of the book—“Ann Voskamp” in this case—is not some cleverly programmed, unfeeling robot that spits out blog posts and magazine articles and books, but a person. A real person. That should have been no great revelation, yet there have been too many times over the years that I have had to remind myself of this simple fact. I try to remind myself before posting a review; sometimes it only comes later.

New eBook: Create: Stop Making Excuses and Start Making Stuff

Stephen Altrogge’s got a great new eBook out, Create: Stop Making Excuses and Start Making Stuff. Here’s the description:

The title may lead you to think that the book is just for creative, artsy, fartsy types, but that’s not true. I believe that God has given every person creative gifts, and that all of us are called to use our creative gifts for the glory of God. This book is intended to inspire and motivate Christians to start using the creative gifts that God has given them for the glory of God and the good of others. It’s a book for artists and homemakers, poets and plumbers, architects and accountants. In other words, this book is for you.

Some of the folks saying nice things about it include Jefferson Bethke, Bob Kauflin, Tony Reinke, Ted Kluck, Bobby Giles, Barnabas Piper and me:

Admit it. You saw the title of this book and said, “Oh, I’m not creative…” Stop it. Creativity isn’t limited to fancy wordplay, pretty pictures, or clever major/minor key switches. Creativity isn’t something for a special class of people—it’s for stay-at-home moms, baristas and accountants, too. In Create, Stephen Altrogge offers us practical guidance and encouragement in getting over the fears, excuses and setbacks that prevent us from setting ourselves to the task of being creative to the glory of God. Read this book, get motivated and stop making excuses (although accountants, don’t get too creative—I hear the IRS frowns upon such things).

Dung Beetles in Heaven

Marc Cortez:

I’m sorry to say that the way most people describe Heaven sounds rather boring to me. Ask what they’re looking forward to about Heaven, and many people will say something about finding lost loved ones—sometimes even lost pets—the end of pain and sorrow, finally being able to dunk a basketball, run a marathon, or possibly even fly through the clouds. And these are all great things, I suppose. But I’m guessing that after a few thousand years, they’d all grow a bit stale. I love my friends and family, but after a millennium or two, I can pretty much guarantee that I’d be hiding in a closet every time I heard one of them coming around the corner. It’s possible that I just have an unusually short attention span and get bored easily. But 4,000 years of the same old thing sounds boring.

Marriage Puts the Glory of the Gospel on Display

Marriage continues to be a hot topic in the news and around the Internet. But it’s not just in the news, it’s in pop culture, too. Marvel Comics came out in full support of gay marriage with one of their characters marrying his boyfriend in a June issue of an X-Men comic. DC Comics announced one of their “iconic” characters will be coming out around the same time. There’s all this talk about the rightness or wrongness of same-sex marriage, culture wars, and a lot of it on both sides is starting to sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher.

May 27, 2012, was Emily’s and my sixth wedding anniversary; we celebrated with a pretty low-key day of catching up on laundry (there was a water conservation statement issued this week in our city) and buying some groceries before finally going out on our first date without any children with us since Hudson was born. It also offered an opportunity to reflect on the purpose of marriage, a purpose that John Piper explains so well in This Momentary Marriage: A Parable of Permanence:

Staying married is not mainly about staying in love. It is about keeping covenant. “Till death do us part” or “As long as we both shall live” is a sacred covenant promise—the same kind Jesus made with his bride when he died for her. Therefore, what makes divorce and remarriage so horrific in God’s eyes is not merely that it involves covenant-breaking to the spouse, but that it involves misrepresenting Christ and his covenant. Christ will never leave his wife. Ever. There may be times of painful distance and tragic backsliding on our part. But Christ keeps his covenant forever. Marriage is a display of that! That is the ultimate thing we can say about it. It puts the glory of Christ’s covenant-keeping love on display.

The most important implication of this conclusion is that keeping covenant with our spouse is as important as telling the truth about God’s covenant with us in Jesus Christ. Marriage is not mainly about being or staying in love. It’s mainly about telling the truth with our lives. It’s about portraying something true about Jesus Christ and the way he relates to his people. It is about showing in real life the glory of the gospel.

Jesus died for sinners. He forged a covenant in the white-hot heat of his suffering in our place. He made an imperfect bride his own with the price of his blood and covered her with the garments of his own righteousness. He said, “I am with you . . . to the end of the age. . . . I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Matt. 28:20; Heb. 13:5). Marriage is meant by God to put that gospel reality on display in the world. That is why we are married. That is why all married people are married, even when they don’t know and embrace this gospel.

John Piper, This Momentary Marriage (Kindle Edition)

“Marriage is meant by God to put that gospel reality on display in the world.” If this isn’t what we point to in our defense of the biblical view of marriage, is it possible we’ve missed the point?

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Today Was Supposed to be My Wedding Day

M. Connor:

May 26, 2012. It was supposed to be a momentous occasion—the day I would walk down the aisle in my mother’s lace wedding gown, peonies in hand, best friend at my side, family and friends looking on with joy. It was supposed to be the day I started a new chapter, the day my dreams would be fulfilled. Little did I know, God had other plans.

Six Ways of Minimizing Sin

Tim Brister:

I found these six ways of minimizing sin to be very instructive regarding gospel-centered sanctification/mortification of sin. Take a moment and examine your fight against sin, the ways you are prone to minimize sin, and develop an intentional strategy to renounce them.

How to Sabotage an Introverted Pastor

Jared Wilson (once more in homage to The Screwtape Letters):

Your patient is an introvert, yes? Feed him more and more information about how utterly draining people are, how ungifted he is to care for them, and how it is actually Enemy-glorifying for him to operate according to his personality type, others be damned. . . . Before too long he will be refusing to counsel or visit or even disciple, seeing it all as “outside his area” or against the grain of his “calling.” Pastors often love these categories because they make good barriers. What the Enemy calls the gifts of his Spirit sometimes make excellent rocks and trees for his people to hide behind in abdication of obedience to him.

Parental Discipline Without Provocation

Kevin DeYoung:

In Ephesians 6:4, God tells fathers (though I think the application is fair for both parents) to raise children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. He also warns against provoking our children to anger. So how do we do one without the other? How do we discipline exasperating kids without in turn exasperating them unnecessarily?

To The Giver of All Good

Giver of All Good,

Streams upon streams of love overflow my path.
Thou hast made me out of nothing,
hast recalled me from a far country,
hast translated me from ignorance to knowledge,
from darkness to light,
from death to life,
from misery to peace,
from folly to wisdom,
from error to truth,
from sin to victory.

Adapted from “Comforts,” Puritan Prayers & Devotions (Kindle Edition)

Beloved, Prize Redemption

Adoption comes to us by redemption. . . . “But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons” (Gal. 4:4-5).

Beloved, prize redemption, and never listen to teaching which would destroy its meaning or lower its importance. Remember that ye were not redeemed with silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish. You were under the law, and subject to its curse, for you had broken it most grievously, and you were subject to its penalty, for it is written, “the soul that sinneth, it shall die”; and yet again, “cursed is everyone that continueth not in all things that are written in the book of the law to do them.” You were also under the terror of the law, for you feared its wrath; and you were under its irritating power, for often when the commandment came, sin within you revived and you died. But now you are redeemed from all; as the Holy Ghost saith, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.”

Now ye are not under the law, but under grace, and this because Christ came under the law and kept it both by his active and his passive obedience, fulfilling all its commands and bearing all its penalty on your behalf and in your room and stead. Henceforth you are the redeemed of the Lord, and enjoy a liberty which comes by no other way but that of the eternal ransom. Remember this; and whenever you feel most assured that you are a child of God, praise the redeeming blood; whenever your heart beats highest with love to your great Father, bless the “firstborn among many brethren,” who for your sakes came under the law, was circumcised, kept the law in his life, and bowed his head to it in his death, honouring, and magnifying the law, and making the justice and righteousness of God to be more conspicuous by his life than it would have been by the holiness of all mankind, and his justice to be more fully vindicated by his death that it would have been if all the world of sinners had been cast into hell. Glory be to our redeeming Lord, by whom we have received the adoption!

Adapted from Charles Spurgeon, “Adoption—The Spirit and the Cry,” as published in The Sermons of Charles Spurgeon: Sermons 1-200 (Vol 1 of 4)

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Is the “Sandwich Method” a Load of Baloney?

David Murray:

In Practicing Affirmation, Sam describes the manager who used the sandwich method so much, that employees began to dread hearing any praise because they knew what he was about to fill the sandwich with. Although he boasted about his method, his employees eventually called it “the baloney sandwich!”

How to Leave Your Old Church

Kevin DeYoung:

Yesterday we looked at how to begin at your new church. But sometimes the harder move is leaving your old church. I don’t want to give advice on when to leave a church. Let’s assume the reasons make sense and now the question is how to leave. What should you do?

The real reason Kony 2012 fizzled — and why it matters

Jeff Brooks:

After the viral explosion of Kony 2012, the “Cover the Night” event that followed was a little disappointing, and widely labeled as a “fizzle.” (See coverage of that here and here.)

I’m guessing the “fizzled” Kony events amounted to more activity than most nonprofits will ever manage to field. But it’s true they seem a disappointment in comparison to the video that preceded them.

There have been lot of hypotheses floated for the fizzle, except for the one I think is the true cause: the brains of young people.

Are You Righteous?

Tullian Tchividjian:

Ethical behaviorism is a term Psychologists use which defines righteousness exclusively in terms of what a person does or does not do. In this sense, a righteous person is one who does the right things and avoids the wrong things. An unrighteous person is one who does the wrong things and avoids the right things. Defined this way, righteousness is a quality that can be judged by an observation of someone’s behavior. Virtue and uprightness is purely a matter of outer conduct without any hint of what goes on inside you.

Brothers, You are not Jewish Rabbis

Whether you’re an experienced or novice preacher, we would all be wise to take this advice from Mark Dever and Greg Gilbert to heart:

Your sermons should never be forty-five-minute morality lessons or best practices for living a better life. They should drive forward to the good news that King Jesus saves sinners through His life, death, and resurrection from the grave. In fact, we think that in every sermon you preach, you should include at some point a clear and concise presentation of the gospel. Tell people how they may be saved! I never want someone to come to my church, not just for a length of time but even for one single service, and be able to say they didn’t hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. Brothers, you are not Jewish rabbis. You are not called to give sermons that merely tell people how to live rightly or better. Is teaching people to live rightly part of preaching the whole counsel of God? Yes, absolutely, depending on the text! Is that ever all there is to it? Absolutely not! One way or another, every text in the Bible points to Jesus, and you should follow where it points. . . . It’s easy to preach the Bible, especially the Old Testament, as if it were a book of fables—a series of stories that do little more than instruct us morally. But if we believe Jesus, we know those stories are doing much more than that; they are pointing us to Him. So whether we do it by following the story line or pointing out the themes, our job is to show our congregations how to see Jesus, even from the story of Ehud.

Mark Dever and Greg Gilbert, Preach: Theology Meets Practice (Kindle locations 1525, 1560)

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He Cares

Darryl Dash:

Some say that the two words “But God” in Ephesians 2 are the best two words in the Bible. I tend to agree, but two words in 1 Peter 5:7 come pretty close.

He cares.

Superficially Innoccuous Practices and Why We should Care about Tattoos

Matthew Lee Anderson:

My piece at Relevant on tattoos (yes, another) came out last week and commenters, well, let’s just say they didn’t quite get it.

How to Start at Your New Church

Kevin DeYoung:

Over ten years in pastoral ministry I’ve seen many new people come to church and I’ve seen a few long-time members leave our church. Some make these moves better than others. While there are many things I have learned about what pastors and current members should do in these situations, I’ll save those ruminations for another time. Instead, I want to reflect on what new people can do right in coming to a church and what is helpful from those who decide they must leave the church.

$5 Friday at Ligonier

This week’s selections includes Dr. Sproul’s excellent What Did Jesus Do?: Understanding the Work of Christ teaching series (audio & video download) among many other items. Sale ends at midnight (Eastern Time). And don’t forget, you can save 30% storewide through June 10th using coupon code FATHERS30.

‘The Demise of Guys': How video games and porn are ruining a generation

Is the overuse of video games and pervasiveness of online porn causing the demise of guys?

Increasingly, researchers say yes, as young men become hooked on arousal, sacrificing their schoolwork and relationships in the pursuit of getting a tech-based buzz.

Writers Write and Writers Read

Reading is a frequent subject here and for good reason: I write and I read. You can’t do one without the other, as many authors have wisely said (including, notably, Stephen King). Douglas Wilson also offered similar advice in his tremendously helpful (and funny) book, Wordsmithy: Hot Tips for the Writing Life. His advice to aspiring writers is simple—Read a lot:

Read like a reader and not like someone cramming for a test. If you try to wring every book out like it was a washcloth full of information (and nothing but information), all you will do is slow yourself down to a useless pace. Go for total tonnage, and read like someone who will forget most of it. You have my permission to forget most of it, which may or may not be reassuring, but you will forget most of it in either case.

Most of what is shaping you in the course of your reading you will not be able to remember. The most formative years of my life were the first five, and if those years were to be evaluated on the basis of my ability to pass a test on them, the conclusion would be that nothing important happened then, which would be false. The fact that you can’t remember things doesn’t mean that you haven’t been shaped by them.

Perhaps this seems contradictory since I was recently wondering about how much is actually realistic for one person to read. And maybe it is, depending on your perspective and your purposes for reading. If you’re trying to retain all the information, you’re probably better off not reading dozens and dozens of books in a year; however, if you’re a writer, then you need to be reading constantly. Not to remember everything, but to let different voices influence your style. To see how different people write (or, depending on the subject matter you gravitate toward, which authors are using the same ghostwriters).

Writers write, but writers also read. They don’t have to remember hardly anything of what they read, but they need to do it.

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 The bald leading the bald

Paul Levy:

Last week I went to the local chicken shop. It’s not the premier brand of chicken shopand is run by some of the most unhygienic men in the UK. The owners, however, are very friendly and they were very excited to show me the new CCTV cameras they had installed; 4 different camera shots from overhead. If someone is thinking of stealing fillet burgers or spicy chicken wings from Perfect Fried Chicken on Greenford Avenue, think again. However, as I looked at the screens I could see a man dressed similarly to me, about my height who had a bald spot reflecting from the lights and whose hair was noticeably thinning. I looked around but there was no one else in the shop. It was at this point I slowly raised my hand to touch the crown of my head and, to my horror, discovered that the man on the CCTV was me. I came home and relayed this to Mrs Levy who affirmed the fact that I’m going very thin on top. I went to bed a broken man.

Buy Platform and Get Free Bonus Material

Michael Hyatt’s new book, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World, was released this week and you still have a little under 48 hours to take advantage of a huge bonus he’s offering to readers. For those who buy Platform, either a physical or digital copy, and send a copy of their receipt to will receive $375.98 worth of bonus material FREE:

  • Platform Video Jumpstart (a $179.00 six-session video series)
  • Why Now Is the Best Time Ever to Be an Author (a $47.00 one-session video)
  • How to Write a Winning Book Proposal (a $47.00, two-session audio series)
  • Writing a Winning Non-Fiction Book Proposal (a $19.97 e-book)
  • Writing a Winning Fiction Book Proposal (a $19.97 e-book)
  • All the Digital Editions of Platform (a $38.06 collection of the Kindle, Nook, iPad, and PDF formats)
  • Audio Edition of Platform (a $24.99 audio edition of the entire book)

Cheap eBooks

Marriage and the Family: Biblical Essentials by Andreas Köstenberger & David W. Jones—$6.10

Billy Graham: His Life and Influence by David Aikman—$4.07

5 Inconvenient Truths about the Writing Life

Daniel Darling:

I get a lot of questions about the writing life from very interested folks. Some romanticize it as if its an easy, dreamy career filled only with paychecks and fame and unicorns. But there are inconvenient truths about writing that nobody tells you until you actually step into it. I don’t write these to discourage you, if God has called you to nurture your gift, but simply to give a realistic view of what to expect.

Book Review: The Invisible Hand by R.C. Sproul

Is God really in control of all things? Many of us have asked this question, if only to ourselves. In times of trial and suffering, it’s not hard to question where God is and what He is doing. But He is there and he is not idle—and we begin to understand God’s purposes when we begin to grasp the doctrine of God’s providence.

“The culture in which we presently live has little room for thoughts of God’s providence,” writes R.C. Sproul in The Invisible Hand: Do All Things Really Work for Good. “But the word providence is too rich and too heavily loaded with crucial theological nuance to allow it to pass from our language without a fight” (pp. 14-15). First published in 1996, The Invisible Hand offers readers a greater understanding of God’s sovereign control over all things and how this neglected and nearly forgotten doctrine brings hope and confidence to God’s weary people.

Sproul explains that providence is not merely a synonym for God’s foreknowledge of events. It’s about God’s provision for and sustaining of His people in ways that are seen and unseen. He is sovereign over all things, whether great or seemingly insignificant. Nothing is outside of his grasp.

It was God’s providence at work in the life of Joseph, who was sold into slavery by his brothers only to become a ruler in Egypt, second only to Pharaoh himself. Why? Because “God sent me before you to preserve life” (Gen. 45:5). It was providence at work again in the life of Moses, who not only escaped genocide and was later raised by Pharaoh’s daughter, only to later lead the Israelites out of slavery (See Ex. 1-15). It was providence that again saw Esther made the Queen of the Persian empire and Daniel appointed to a ruler in Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom. Through it all, God was preserving and providing for His people so that His purposes would be fulfilled. Is it any wonder, then, that Paul wrote these words in Romans 8:28:

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Christians need to understand this—this high view of God’s sovereignty, His knowledge, provision and control over all things—is what allows us to have confidence in God Himself. “The Providence of God is our fortress, our shield, and our very great reward,” Sproul writes. “It is what provides courage and perseverance for His saints” (p. 210).

As comforting as this doctrine is, it’s also incredibly difficult for many of us to wrap our minds around. Questions of how God can rule over all things and yet man still be morally culpable, and the problem of evil, are but two that spring readily to mind. Sproul shines in his answers to these issues, readily admitting that there are no easy answers. You simply cannot come to an answer that’s going to satisfy everyone.

In making the distinction between primary and secondary causality, for example—“The primary, or first, cause—God—is ultimate and independent. Our causal power is derived from His power and ever contingent upon it” (p. 106)—he is quick to note that these kinds of distinctions do not get to the core of the matter. “There still remains an element of mystery that conceals the secret working of the providence of God.” It’s the same with the problem of evil. We don’t understand why evil exists; we only know it does. We don’t understand why God allowed Adam and Eve to sin; we only know that for some reason He did.

Ultimately, such matters should quickly bring us to our knees as we realize that they are far too high and lofty for us to truly grasp. We can but stand in awe of the God who is above all things and yet so intimately involved in all things. This is certainly the impact that was left on me as I read The Invisible Hand. I trust it will be the same for you.

Title: The Invisible Hand: Do All Things Really Work for Good
Author: R.C. Sproul
Publisher: P&R Publishing (1996 [reissued in 2003])

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Date Your Wife

Check out the trailer for Justin Buzzard’s new book, Date Your Wife, and then pre-order it (it’s dirt cheap right now at Amazon!):

[tentblogger-vimeo 40950757]

4 Ways to Fight Clean Over Doctrine

Dustin Neeley:

It’s the fall semester of the new year at the local Bible college.

Tim and Ted are brand-new, computer-selected, freshman roommates in the guys’ dorm. Tim became a Calvinist about six months ago. He reads Reformed books, listens to Reformed podcasts, talks incessantly about Reformed theology, and just got a “Soli Deo Gloria” tattoo.

Ted is his roommate. He is not Reformed. In fact, he actually doesn’t like Reformed people or their theology. He listens to Southern Gospel music on tape and opposes tattoos of any kind.

It’s going to be a long semester.

Someone is Wrong on the Internet

R.C. Sproul, Jr:

It takes two to tango, and that doesn’t even include the band. Our choices, our behaviors, are rarely as discreet as we think they are. Not only do our decisions bleed into our other decisions, they touch on other people’s lives, more often than not. No man is an island; neither is any man a peninsula.

Normal Sermon Prep? Really?

David Murray:

In Sermon Prep: A Week in One Life, Stephen Um describes his normal process of preparing a sermon. Although there’s some helpful stuff in here, especially his last four points, and although he says “every pastor’s week looks a little different,” I think a lot of pastors will find it a quite amusing – and perhaps a little disturbing too.