Kindle deals for Christian readers
A few new ones for you today:
- The Forgotten Trinity by James R. White—$1.99
- The Cross and Christian Ministry by D.A. Carson—$1.99
- Radically Normal by Josh Kelley—$1.99
- Counsel for Mourners by John Flavel—99¢
Look for loads of new deals to be announced in the next few days, including Christian Audio’s new free audiobook of the month.
Too often we envision “successful ministry”—this vision may look different from person to person, church to church—and pour our energies and affections into seeing that vision become a reality, assuming that once we finally “arrive,” things will be better, easier, finally and ultimately fulfilling. This is, functionally, idolatry. It is a creation of a false heaven, not simply false in its falling short of the real Paradise but false in its inclusion of talent, acquired skills, and grit to reach.
There was a time, and it was not so long ago, when we laughed at people who said things like, “The government can control your computer” or “the government can tap into your webcam.” Then Edward Snowden proved that this is actually being done. The unnerving reality is that governmental bodies and skillful hackers actually do have the ability to turn on your webcam without your knowledge and without triggering the indicator light. They actually do have the ability to turn on the microphone and listen in without your knowledge. Conspiracy theory has given way to reality. Mark Zuckerberg would make an especially high-profile target for hackers and for that reason has taken basic but effective measures to protect himself.
Recently a bit of controversy has emerged with charges that some complementarians (those who hold to a biblical pattern of different roles for men and women) are flirting with a denial of the Nicene Creed (or of violating the classic pro-Nicene Trinitarian formulations rooted in the fourth century controversies) by arguing that the Son is eternally obedient to the Father. The trinitarian debate is quite complicated, but the challenges defined by Harold O. J. Brown and J. N. D. Kelly are very much to the point. Nicaea is foundational, but the creed does not answer all of our questions.
Here’s the thing, though – I think we naturally want our kids to have our “thing.” That’s the easy, comfortable way. I know a lot about baseball, and so it’s not a difficult thing for me to show my kids how to field a ground ball, catch a pop fly, or correct their batting stance. It’s a lot more difficult to be the one dad in the group of dads who has to read the instructions on the tent before he tries to set it up, and then to ask for help from other dads because it’s getting dark outside. I want my thing to be their thing for the same reason I want everyone to have my general interests and opinions – because deep in my heart, I’m convinced that I’m right.
In day to day life there was so much I could control: which route to take through traffic, which task to work on first, what to do on a free night with the family, where to buy a house. But in reality there was far, far more outside my control than inside it. I didn’t have final control over my health, or the attitudes of my family, or the economy, or the government, or the flight crew delayed in another city. And, strangely, that made me rejoice.
If you know life in Christ, you know languishing in Christ. We all go through dry seasons. The Christian life is never lived from mountain top to mountain top. Every saint has known lackluster days in relationship with the Lord. God doesn’t feel close. You have His peace, but are not peaceful. You know His love, but are not enjoying His love. Your spiritual life isn’t dead, but it is dull. What is the answer? What is a Christian to do? The answer lies at the very heart of our Christian faith. Even as we embarked upon the Christian faith by feeding upon Christ, so we continue in the faith by feeding upon Christ. He is the one thing necessary.