Archive for the ‘Interviews’ Category

  1. Rosaria Butterfield helps us think through the following question: “What are some of the first steps for ChristIans who want to engage friends who identify themselves as gay or homosexual?”

    Many of the issues Butterfield addresses are discussed in David Platt’s new book, Counter Culture. You can learn more at CounterCultureBook.com.

    Butterfield is a former tenured professor of English at Syracuse University. After her conversion to Christianity in 1999, she developed a ministry to college students. She has taught and ministered at Geneva College and is a full-time mother and pastor’s wife, part-time author (The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert), and occasional speaker. Find out more at RosariaButterfield.com.

  2. Always Be Prepared to Give an Answer

    Posted on April 7th, 2015 by Jonathan

    In the video below, John Stonestreet talks about some ways that Christians can equip themselves to live in and engage a hostile culture. In his words, “There is going to be no substitute for everyday Christians living out their faith and being able to winsomely talk about their convictions in their everyday lives.” Stonestreet went on to say that we need to be able to teach 1) the truth of the Christian position, and 2) why it’s the truth. Here’s a brief outline of his main pointers.

    1. Where the Bible is clear on something, we need to be clear on it too.
    2. We need to know why the Bible says what it does. Argue from Scripture and God’s creation.
    3. Have good conversations. Build relationships with people who are different from you
    4. Ask good questions.

    John Stonestreet is a Speaker and Fellow of the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview. He is also co-host of BreakPoint and host of ThePoint, audio programs that help Christians think through cultural issues in a biblical way.

    David Platt addresses many of the most prevalent cultural issues of our day in his latest book, Counter Culture. To learn more, go to CounterCultureBook.org.

  3. Fear and Faith

    Posted on April 1st, 2015 by Jonathan

    Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 10.24.51 AM

    Trillia Newbell is a wife, mother of two, writer, editor, speaker, consultant, and most recently, the author of Fear and Faith: Finding the Peace Your Heart Craves, out today wherever books are sold. We were able to review the book in advance and believe it will be a valuable source of biblical encouragement for those tempted with fear of various kinds.

    Trillia graciously agreed to answer a few questions for us about the book. We hope this brief interview will give you a good idea of what to expect in Fear and Faith, even as it serves you now with uplifting biblical truth.

    Here’s what she had to say about Fear and Faith...

    __________________________

    Who did you have in mind when you wrote this book?

    I wrote this book with primarily women in mind. I believe everyone struggles with fear, but am aware that women have particular burdens, concerns, and temptations in this area. Although women are the primary audience, I do hope that men and pastors will benefit from Fear and Faith as they seek to serve their wives and church members.

    Your book covers fear of man, fear of the future, fear of tragedy, fear of not measuring up, and other fears… do these fears have a common root?

    I think a common root would be unbelief. I fear man when I forget that God is for me (so who can be against me). I fear tragedy when I forget that God is sovereign and good. I fear I won’t measure up when I forget that Christ has already measured up for me. There are definitely other root issues such as pride and worry, but often we fear because we don’t believe. So, we pray: I believe, help my unbelief.

    At one point in the book, you say, “We don’t want to wait until our fears come true. We want to prepare now.” What do you mean by this, and how do you prepare?

    God never promises a cozy Christian life. We don’t become Christians and all our problems are then solved. We want to paint an accurate picture of the Christian faith—it is not easy. There is great joy in knowing that we have a Savior who was tempted in every way but without sin. It is good to know that we have a Heavenly Father who is also the Creator of the world and a Lord who can make the wind and waves stand still with his breath. We prepare by studying God’s Word, learning about his character, and rehearsing the gospel to our hearts. We prepare through head knowledge and heart prep. We learn to love God above all else (failing along the way and resting in the grace that covers our failures). When our fears do come true and we experience death, for example, we remember truths like death’s sting will cease and that we have a living hope. One day we will only rejoice, we will no longer endure the pain of this world. That brings me peace and joy.

    You talk about combating all our earthly, sinful fears by fearing God. What does this look like?

    I think it looks a lot like the answer above. I want to fear God, but I won’t have that awe-filled, worshipful, adoration for someone I don’t know. So, to combat fear by fearing God is to first know God through his word. But I don’t want to have only a head knowledge of God, I want to have faith. So I ask God to give me faith to believe. But I also don’t want to stop there and only have faith, I want to love him. I know that I love God because he first loved me, so I ask him to continue to teach me about himself so that I might grow in love with him. In the end, I think as we do this we also grow in the fear of the Lord.

    What comfort is there for someone who has a problem with fear?

    God is with you. I think knowing that God is real and with me is a great comfort. Also, Jesus became fear so that we would be completely lacking in fear. In other words, Jesus died on the cross and absorbed the fear that you struggle with, that fear that grips you and plagues you, that fear has been bought with a price. We are forgiven of our fear. Isn’t that amazing news? And God promises to finish the good work he began in you. He promises to sanctify you and teach you to trust him. Call on him who is faithful.

  4. New Challenges in Addressing an Age Old Sin

    Posted on March 31st, 2015 by Jonathan

    Heath Lambert talks about some of the new challenges we must deal with in addressing sexual immorality today.

    Sexual immorality is one of the pervasive issues covered in David Platt’s new book, Counter Culture. Drawing heavily on Scripture and compelling personal accounts from around the world, Platt presents a pointed yet winsome call for readers to faithfully follow Christ in countercultural ways—ways that will prove both costly and rewarding for the contemporary church. Learn more at CounterCultureBook.com.

    Dr. Heath Lambert serves as Executive Director at the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors. ACBC is the largest biblical counseling organization in the world with certified counselors and counseling training centers in 17 countries. He is also the author of Finally Free: Fighting for Purity with the Power of Grace (Zondervan, 2013). Learn more about Heath here.

  5. This week, the ERLC is hosting their 2015 Leadership Conference on The Gospel and Racial Reconciliation. Be on the look out for resources from them on this timely and important issue in the days ahead. As David Platt contends in his latest book, Counter Culture, racism is a gospel issue.

    In the video below, Trillia Newbell (consultant on Women’s Initiatives for the ERLC) talks about how ethnic diversity is tied to the gospel.

  6. “And such were some of you.”

    Posted on March 10th, 2015 by Jonathan

    In 1 Corinthians 6, Paul lays out a somber warning for the believers in Corinth: the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God. Who are the unrighteous? Paul gets specific.

    Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Cor 6:9-10)

    Thankfully, by God’s grace, Paul didn’t stop there.

    And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Cor 6:11)

    And such were some of you. The Corinthians had undergone a fundamental transformation from sinner to saint, and “by the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit of our God,” they stood now guiltless before God.

    This gospel testimony, true of all believers, is clearly seen in the life of Christopher Yuan. Christopher lived as a promiscuous gay man until he met Jesus in prison, where he was serving time for dealing drugs. Listen to the story of God’s great mercy in his life and be encouraged by God’s amazing grace.

    Homosexuality and sexual immorality are discussed in David Platt’s latest book, Counter Culture. Go to CounterCultureBook.com to find out more about it and to get involved in gospel ministries that deal with such issues.

  7. Top Five Guest Posts of 2014

    Posted on December 31st, 2014 by Jonathan

    file0001177647008

    Below are our five most viewed guest posts of the year. Most of them were interviews, one of them was an original post, and all of them were made possible by individuals who carved out time to help us put good, quality, helpful content on our blog. A big thank-you to each one.

    Enjoy . . .

    1. Lora Lynn Fanning: “This Parenting Gig is All about Making Me More Like Christ”
      “Every nose I wipe and every midnight puke-fest refines me a little more. And as He makes me more like Him, I learn to want what He wants–for myself and for my children. I am learning to want holiness for my babies over their safety or sleeping through the night. All my worries and fears as a mom fade in the face of my desire for my kids to love Jesus: To know how selfless and good He is, how much better at loving their every breath He is than their weak mama.”
    2. Ann Voskamp and Sophie Hudson: “On the Cross and Everyday Life” – PART 1 and PART 2
      “I need a cross-centered life if I am going to live the Christ-filled life. The cross is the sign of God’s lavish, unfathomable affection for us, and we need the cross daily because of these two realities: 1) How else can I remember that He loves me? 2) How else can I remember how to die daily? We need a place of execution in our lives if we’re ever to rightly execute a life of faith.”
    3. J.D. Greear: “On the Gospel and Everyday Routines”
      “True, devoid of the gospel, such disciplines will become legalistic and empty. But the entire purpose of daily disciplines is to give us an opportunity to think about, and meditate on, and move within the gospel. Practicing spiritual disciplines is like cutting furrows that faith in the gospel can fill with new life.”
    4. Anonymous: “He’s Got Missionary Wives in His Hands”
      “Would we, by faith, see the things Jesus has done in the past (1 Cor. 15:3), things he’s doing “above” even now (Heb. 8:1), and things he will do in days to come (Isa. 45:23). Let us take courage as we consider God’s particular, far-reaching, steadfast love, which he shows to us in these concrete ways . . .”
    5. Kevin DeYoung: “On Busyness and the Christian Life”
      “It’s no accident that Luke was inspired to put the Mary-Martha story at the end of chapter 10, after the sending out of the 72 disciples for powerful ministry and after the parable of the Good Samaritan. It’s the Lord’s way of telling us: look, you can cast out demons, you can preach, you can heal, you can stop by the side of the road to help the sick and dying, but if you don’t spend time with me, you are neglecting the very thing I want most from you: to sit at my feet.”

    Honorable Mentions:
    Psalm-Shaped Parenting (by Scott James)
    Mack Stiles on Evangelism: Teaching the Gospel with the Aim to Persuade
    Gloria Furman on The Cross and Busy Moms
    An Intro to Spiritual Disciplines with Dr. Donald Whitney

  8. David Platt Interviews Mark Dever

    Posted on November 6th, 2014 by Jonathan

    In case you missed the original posting of this video, here’s David Platt talking to Mark Dever about various aspects of making disciples. This is the first of their eight-part conversation in which they talk about everything from agnosticism to preaching to evangelism. Enjoy.

    Here are parts two, three, four, five, six, seven, and eight.

  9. Mid-Term Field Report: “Because Jesus Is Worth It”

    Posted on September 24th, 2014 by Jonathan

    DSC00234

    Have you ever been “missing in action” when a loved one needed you? Karina has. And from her critter-infested home in Thailand, she can testify to the pain it causes . . . but she can also testify to the joy of loving and obeying Christ.

    Karina was sent out by The Church at Brook Hills to serve mid-term (anywhere between two months and two years), teaching English to kindergarteners. We hope that her example will encourage and challenge you to love Jesus far more than anything else. According to Karina, even though such love is sometimes hard, “Jesus is worth it.”

    Here’s what Karina had to say . . .

    _______________________________________

    What has been the most surprising aspect about serving in this new context?

    It never fails to surprise me just how many other creatures I share a home with. We’ve had infestations of ants, termites, geckos, mosquitos, roaches, tokays, snakes, lizards, spiders (anywhere from really small to as big as my face), snails and rats.

    What has been the most difficult part of your time there?

    The most difficult part is managing my classes. I teach anywhere from 27-39 students. That’s 39 three-year-olds. So to keep them all focused and on task is a bit challenging, to say the least.

    Can you give us your highlight of the trip?

    In April my mom and good friend were able to visit me. We were able to celebrate Songkran (the water throwing festival). It’s basically the ice bucket challenge all day for three days, and everyone plays. It’s the best festival ever.

    What advice would you give to people considering going mid-term?

    Go. And try to learn as much language beforehand.

    What advice would you give to friends, family, and church members in terms of how they can support workers like you?

    Please pray for us daily. I can’t say it enough. Pray, pray, pray, pray, pray. Also, little notes of encouragement are great too. It can get pretty lonely overseas, so it’s always a pleasant surprise to find a personal email waiting for you in your inbox.

    What is one big takeaway that the the Father has taught you in your experience as a mid-term worker?

    Luke 14:26 has really taken on a new meaning to me since being here. “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” I only thought I knew what that meant, but now I know what that means. Being a disciple of Jesus means missing weddings and baby showers of my dearest and oldest friends. It means being away from family in illness. It means missing birthdays, graduations, and other celebrations. It means people may not think you love them because you are away when they “need” you the most. And it’s hard. Especially on the rough days, and the enemy tempts you to think it’s not worth it. But it is worth it, because Jesus is worth it.

    What is one thing you have learned from the national brothers and sisters that you are partnering with?

    They are so selfless, generous, and some of the most joyous people I have ever met.  They don’t let their circumstances dictate their emotions. They may not have much, but they will sacrifice for you.

  10. John Piper Interviews David Platt

    Posted on September 18th, 2014 by Jonathan

    Several years ago, John Piper sat down with David Platt to ask him some questions about missions and his heart for the unreached. This 30 minute video gives a great glimpse into who David is and what he’s about.

    (HT: Desiring God)