Happy New Year, everyone! I hope any time off you had was well spent and filled with relaxation. To kick things off, there are a couple of freebies worth mentioning today. Christian Audio’s free audiobook of the month is Living Forward by Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy. Logos Bible Software users can also add Bulletin for Biblical Research Vol 1 to their libraries for free until the end of the month.
On a Gospel Project-related note, I’ll be going live Wednesday, January 4th at 10:30 am (Central) to share why I’m excited about our upcoming study, The Rescue Begins. You can check that out at Facebook.com/TheGospelProject.
For some Christians, this is obvious and unremarkable. Yet for others, including many complementarians, this may come as a shock. Some Christians hold that a proper understanding of gender roles demands that women must not write theological works at all or, at the very least, that men must not read them. I disagree. To the contrary, I believe we can and must encourage women to write these books and that men can gladly and confidently read them for the benefit of their own souls.
Beware lest it become for you your source of daily bread. It’s telling a partial truth. I saw in my vision by night, and behold, I dreamed of a world in which every copy of the Bible was gone, except those portions we had preserved on Instagram. Consider this Bible, my daughters, if you will: Its perfect squares are friend to the proverb, the promise, and the partial quote, leaving laws, lists, land allotments, and long-stretching lessons to languish off-screen. It comforts but rarely convicts.
Pastors, with few exceptions, love their church members. They desire to serve their congregants well. They desire to be gracious and friendly to those who approach them. That is why most of them would be highly reticent to say what I am about to say.
Many times pastors get very distracted and even discouraged when someone speaks to them right before they preach. Let me elaborate in my usual fashion by making six observations.
Dane Ortlund delivered a forceful critique of NT Wright’s latest book.
Brett McCracken offers a very positive review of Faithful Presence: Seven Disciplines That Shape the Church for Mission by David E. Fitch.
One of the first things that I did when I became pastor of the church I now serve was to start a book table where good books at discounted prices were made available to our congregation. Through experience in the previous church I served I had learned that those who read, lead. Even with limited opportunity to distribute good books (I was the Assistant Pastor) it became evident that a book thoughtfully recommended could be instrumental in the spiritual development of Christians.
Nathan Bingham offers a few suggestions for Bible reading plans (it’s never too late to get started).
A favorite from the archives:
Many of us, I suspect, have moments like this, those moments that if we had a do-over, we would absolutely take it. And yet, they never seem to come. At least, not in the way we would expect. We want a do-over, but God doesn’t give us one. Instead, he takes these moments we regret—in fact, he gives us these moments—so we might learn from them. That we might take them as opportunities to grow and change and take action when a new opportunity arises.