My friend Brandon has a new book out, cowritten by Everett Berry. I’m only just getting into it, but I like what I’ve read so far.
One of the most often repeated phrases at the Kelley house right now is, “But you said…”
You can fill in the blank afterward. For us, it usually has to do with a dessert or a “special drink” (something other than water). Kids are like elephants in that way – they seem to never forget when it’s something they want to remember. Over the course of the past 9 years, Jana and I have slowly picked up on this trait, and it’s caused us to learn to be a little gun shy when we are making promises. More than once we’ve been burned over saying the kids could have or do something, then something else comes up, and we have to make a mid-course correction.
Good stuff here from Dave Furman.
J.C. Ryle wrote in his classic work, Holiness, “The heart of the best Christian, even at his best, is a field occupied by two rival camps” (56). Most Christians readily affirm this reality. Like the apostle Paul we recognize the war that rages within (Rom. 7:21-23) and, like Paul, we admit that our wretchedness is undeniable (Rom. 7:24). So often this leaves us feeling like an undersized fighter staring at a heavyweight in the other corner of the ring, helpless in our fight for holiness. What, then, can give us confidence and strengthen us in this fight?
Remembering that the fight is already won.
It’s difficult to publicly identify as a Christian believer in a secular age that pressures people to keep their religious beliefs private. The only commitment approved by our culture is one that produces comfort in one’s private world but doesn’t comprehensively shape one’s entire life. A candid account of the gospel story that is a Christian’s deepest identity can be met with hostile reactions.
So Christians in a place like New York City find themselves perplexed as to how to “go public” and talk to their friends, neighbors, and colleagues about their faith.
Parents, don’t take the biblical proverb “train up a child” and treat it like a promise, assuming that if you do everything right in your parenting, your children will turn out right. Proverbs are general truths, not specific promises. Besides, when we consider the overall context of the Bible, we see how counterproductive it is to try to train our kids to trust in God if what we model for them is that we trust in our training.
A favorite from the archives:
There are so many wonderful, gospel-loving, Jesus-proclaiming churches in a state like Tennessee that it’s easy to forget that there are still a whole lot more that are either soft on the gospel, or have abandoned it altogether. In my own homeland, Canada, we don’t have remotely close to the remaining cultural openness to Christianity that America does, but we still have many good, faithful churches.
And you know what those churches need?
They need more faithful churches around them.