Kindle deals for Christian readers
Yesterday, I shared some tremendous deals on Crossway’s Theologians on the Christian Life series. Today, the only titles of note I’ve found are Evangelical Feminism by Wayne Grudem for $2.99 (which, given the title, will no doubt be polarizing), and Uncensored by Brian Cosby for $1.99. As of yesterday, my book Awaiting a Savior was still on sale for $2.99. It may still be this morning—so if you didn’t grab it already, do so now before the price goes up!
I’ll be taking part in a newly announced iGospel Summit. I’ll be speaking on the topic of convictional kindness in a digital world (or how to be a Christian on Twitter). This free event runs from March 8-11th. Click the link for more details.
Our sinful nature wants to repay evil with evil. When your spouse is short with you, you reply the same. When your boss belittles you, you cut corners at work. When your friends let you down, you ignore them in response.
“That’ll teach ’em!” you think.
You think that if you don’t retaliate, they’ll never learn their lesson. If you hurt the person in the way they’ve hurt you, they’ll stop. Is that true? Maybe. But that’s not Paul’s command.
There is a hierarchy when it comes to the ways we express ourselves and our convictions. There are some things we believe, some things we think, and some things we feel. The terms are hierarchical rather than synonymous and over time we ought to see a progression from feeling to thinking to believing. We should want to elevate more of what we feel into what we think and more of what we think into what we believe. I will grant that there can be fine distinctions here, but there is still value in distinguishing them, at least for our purposes.
Justin Taylor shares Don Carson’s take:
Some people idolize Karl Barth as entirely in line with the heritage of John Calvin. Others demonize him as clearly emerging from one of the lower rims of Dante’s Inferno. In my judgment the truth of the matter is far more complex. There are many parts of Karl Barth’s writings that are luminescent. They are wonderfully evocative when he speaks of the glory and the greatness and the majesty of God and when he speaks of the importance of Christ. On so many, many fronts Karl Barth really was the premier theologian of the twentieth century in terms of volume of writings, profundity of analysis and so on. It would be nice if every movement that came along was right from the throne room of God or right from the pit so you could bless it or damn it and get on with life, but that is just not the way life is.
Now don’t get me wrong, there are unique struggles to pastoral ministry. I’ve even written a few of the above articles myself. Being a pastor is tough, and sometimes I’ve been talked off the ledge by a fellow pastor identifying with the struggle and letting me know I’m not alone.
Consider the apostle Paul. We have much of his writing. Find the places when he gave a list of the difficulties attending ministry. Look for something similar to the articles we write. It’s tough. I found one. 2 Corinthians 11. In this chapter he gives a list of all the terrible stuff he has been through in his ministry. But you know what he called his list?
Richard Phillips offers a strong answer on why socialism is not only unbiblical, but evil. As a person living in a socialist democracy, I affirm much of what is said here.
The programmatic approach, and even the self-feeding approach, assumes that what people lack is a set of skills to address their felt needs for success or competence. But what any Christian enterprise ought to assume is that, beneath all our confusion and ignorance, what people really lack is a heart for God and neighbor. Underneath our felt needs is an entire industry of idols emerging from a foundation of sin and longing for glory. Only the gospel can get to that level and deal with it. This is why Jesus doesn’t say, “teach my sheep,” although he certainly wants us to teach. He says, “feed my sheep.” Because he knows what we all really need first and foremost is the word of life that satisfies and sustains.
Wouldn’t it be great if we, as Christians, were known by our colleagues as the most helpful people in our workplaces? After all, helping others is one way to love our neighbors. It should be a joy to say yes to those who need something we can give them. For me, though, uttering yes is too often a burden, since one of my idols is efficiency. I want to be productive and finish as much work as possible, and other people are obstacles to that. Their problems are messy, and I fear getting roped into something that will end up taking more time than I anticipated.
I also too often assume my work is more urgent or important than theirs. Can’t they figure this out on their own? Do they not realize I have my own work to do, too?