No Kindle deals for you today. Not because there aren’t any (probably, I haven’t checked), but because y’all need a break from being encouraged to buy stuff for at least a day or two. Now, on to some good reading:
Bob Thune offers a counterpoint to Piper’s article (which I shared yesterday):
Piper offers nine considerations in support of his thesis. I will advance three critiques that reveal some weaknesses and inadequacies I perceive in Piper’s viewpoint. And I hope to offer all of them in a tone that conveys the eminent respect and esteem I have for Dr. Piper.
Again, I’m Canadian, so I don’t have a horse in this race (hand guns are heavily regulated here and have been for years). I’m sharing because both points are worth considering.
But even as the world has turned gray, it has also become more complex. It is in some ways too simple to say that I’ve gone from seeing the world as “black and white” to seeing it as gray. Of course, as a Christian, I affirm that some things are black and white; there is both real evil and real good in the world. But beyond that, evil and good can become so entangled in this time-between-times that it can be difficult to see where one ends and the other begins. Seeing the world through the lens of Scripture demands we recognize this shades-of-gray complexity of our world.
Previously I had thought about the Christmas story of Advent like I might think about other stories that we watch on television during the holidays. It had its place in the “canon” of cultural entertainment and consumption. But, upon seeing Christ through the eyes of faith I realized in fact that he loved me and came for me. As Paul writes in Galatians 2, “he loved me and gave himself for me.” Those two verbs are so intensely personal.
Need-sensitive preaching is imperative. The Bible is God’s Word to humanity, and we are needy—sinful, alienated, and dying. If a preacher fails to show how God addresses and solves our needs, he has delivered a lecture, not a sermon. Further, as Moisés Silva observes, an awareness of our needs makes us better exegetes. Therefore, it’s “proper and even necessary to approach the Bible with a strong sense of our needs.” Our problems “often alert us to truths in Scripture that might otherwise remain veiled to us. Proper exegesis consists largely of asking the right questions from the text.”
Jared Wilson reflects on his transition from pastoral ministry to working at MBTS. I am thankful for everything I’m hearing about the school and the grace God is showing Jared there.