Archive for the ‘Well Said’ Category
Posted on April 18th, 2014 by Cory Varden
Resources for Understanding and Explaining Easter, Stand to Reason: Don’t let this Easter season pass you by without some reflection on what it means and why it matters. Here are some resources to help you do this.
Easter and ethics: How the resurrection reshapes the Christian life, Phillip Bethancourt: What is the relationship between Easter and ethics? How does the crucifixion shape the Christian life? How does the resurrection reorient our moral intuitions?
Five Errors to Drop From Your Easter Sermon,Andreas J. Köstenberger and Justin Taylor: If you want to help people see Holy Week with fresh eyes, start by dropping these familiar fallacies.
Posted on April 11th, 2014 by Cory Varden
The Bible is the Dividing Line, Denny Burk: In recent days, there has been a lot of division among “evangelicals” over the issue of homosexuality. But those with eyes to see and ears to hear know that homosexuality is not really the fundamental issue. The issue that “evangelicals” are facing is whether or not we will look to scripture as the supreme and infallible authority.
Moralism is Not the Gospel (But Many Christians Think it is), Albert Mohler: One of the most amazing statements by the Apostle Paul is his indictment of the Galatian Christians for abandoning the Gospel. “I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel,” Paul declared. As he stated so emphatically, the Galatians had failed in the crucial test of discerning the authentic Gospel from its counterfeits.
The Uselessness of the Twitter Battles, Trevin Wax: I know what a Twitter battle is because I’ve engaged in them a time or two. After the last one, I came to the realization that these online interactions are virtually useless in creating and sustaining real and meaningful conversations about highly-charged issues.
Posted on March 28th, 2014 by Cory Varden
Our post this week is focused primarily on the controversy surrounding World Vision’s policy change and subsequent reversal of that policy change. (click HERE if you are totally in the dark on this). The posts below are particularly helpful in regards to certain pertinent aspects of this conversation.
The Right Lesson to Learn from the World Vision Kerfuffle, Timothy Dalrymple: I have a lot of sympathy for the people who were upset by their decision. And frankly I have a lot of sympathy too for the people who applauded the policy change and now find themselves mortified at the reversal. These are tough issues. The core of the mistake, it seems to me, is precisely in regarding this as merely a “culture war issue.”
Why Is This Issue Different?, Kevin Deyoung: I received an email yesterday afternoon to this effect: Could someone please give a short, simple explanation as to why the issue of homosexuality is not like Christians differing on baptism or the millennium? Many Christians are willing to say homosexuality is wrong, but they’d rather not argue about it. Why not broker an “agree to disagree” compromise? Why can’t we be “together for the gospel” despite our differing views on gay marriage? Why is this issue any different?
What is marriage, according to the Bible?, Ray Ortlund: We can’t turn the clock back to the days of the Christian social consensus the West has foolishly thrown away. But we who say we believe the gospel can and must stand up for the biblical definition of marriage. We must cultivate beautiful marriages ourselves. We must suffer social rejection bravely. We must pray for revival. We must wait for the inevitable collapse of every false view of marriage. We must lovingly serve all who suffer for their foolish attempts at false “marriages.”
Posted on March 21st, 2014 by Cory Varden
You Asked: Does God Harden a Believer’s Heart?, Tony Reinke: This is a serious and important two-part question, but it is really six questions in disguise. Though human speculation could not touch it with a javelin pole, God’s revelation helps to unfold the answer. None of us is made modest by tiptoeing past this question if the Bible offers us answers.
The Challenge of Pluralism, Ross Douthat: If we take pluralism seriously, the whole point of the concept is to enable groups to “throw up a shield” against the pressure of consensus, and develop and promote alternatives that are rejected by the powerful, or by society as a whole. (You can read a follow up post to this piece HERE)
How Real is the Book “Heaven in for Real”?, John Piper: In this episode of “Ask Pastor John”, Piper takes on the reality, or lack thereof, of the bestselling book “Heaven is for Real”.
Why Pro-Lifers Are Losing Legal Battles, But Wining the Larger War, Trevin Wax: The hope of the pro-life community is a day when abortion is not simply “illegal,” but unthinkable. The goal is human rights for all human beings, to live in a country where human life is so esteemed that the very idea of abortion is as repulsive as the ancient Roman practice of infanticide or last century’s eugenics movement.
Posted on February 28th, 2014 by Jonathan Lenning
This week’s selection includes an essay on a new era of Christian missions, a stirring testimony from a former Muslim who is now passionate for Jesus, and guidance on how short-term missions ought (and ought not) to be done. May these posts serve you with sound instruction and motivate you to be about the work of the harvest.
Christian Missions in the Third Millennium, Albert Mohler: Now facing its third millennium, the Christian church faces a moment of great historical importance and opportunity. The modern missionary movement is now over two centuries old. Looking back over those years, it is clear that God mobilized His people to make great strides in taking the gospel to many parts of the world... READ MORE
Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity, Justin Taylor: Nabeel Qureshi grew up in the United States with an extremely devout Muslim family. In fact, they were descendants of a long line of missionaries to Islam. If someone ever sought to share the gospel with him, he would use it as an opportunity to explain why Islam is true and Christianity is not… WATCH VIDEO
There’s Nothing Short About Short-Term Missions, Ramon Lull: Are our short-term “missions” trips really helping the cause of missions? By “missions,” I mean the process of Christians from reached people groups sharing the gospel with unreached people groups (UPG), implying that languages must be learned and cultures must be understood. Language acquisition and cultural understanding take years, perhaps even decades — not days… READ MORE
Posted on February 14th, 2014 by Cory Varden
1. Crucifying Defensiveness by Jared Wilson: The biggest problem in my life and ministry is me. And the biggest problem among my many idiosyncratic problems is the impulse toward self-defense and self-justification.
2. Nine Lies in the Not-Yet-Married Life by Marshall Segal: Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, perhaps one of the more polarizing holidays of our year. It’s very fun and exciting for the love birds, too commercial and insincere for the skeptics, and sometimes especially lonely for the single.
3. The Other Shoe Drops in Kentucky: Federal Court Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage in the Commonwealth by Albert Mohler: “As far as this Court is concerned, no one should be fooled; it is just a matter of listening and waiting for the other shoe.” Those are the words of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, drawn from his dissent in the case United States v. Windsor, handed down last year.
Posted on January 27th, 2014 by Jonathan Lenning
A Scripture-saturated excerpt from the letter that William Tyndale wrote to his best friend, John Frith, right before Frith was burned at the stake for his loyalty to God’s Word.
Your cause is Christ’s gospel, a light that must be fed with the blood of faith…. If when we be buffeted for well-doing, we suffer patiently and endure, that is acceptable to God; for to that end we are called. For Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that we should follow his steps, who did no sin.
Hereby have we perceived love, that he had lain down his life for us; therefore we ought also to lay down our lives for the brethren…. let not your body faint…. If the pain be above your strength, remember, Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, I will give it you. And pray to our Father in that name, and he will ease your pain, or shorten it…. Amen.
Taken from Filling Up the Afflictions of Christ (Crossway), by John Piper, p. 52
This post was originally seen on the Secret Church blog. Be sure to check it out for updates and information on Secret Church gatherings and the persecuted church.
Posted on January 10th, 2014 by Cory Varden
1. How Mark Dever Passes Out Authority by Jonathan Leeman: Over the years Mark Dever, senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., has seen plenty of opportunities to accrue authority, some of which he keeps, many of which he passes out. And the way he passes out authority has shaped the culture of our church in countless ways.
3. Worship in Spirit and Truth by David Mathis: The issue is not whether we will worship, but what. Even better, whom and how.
2. The Ten Commandments of Twitter by Keving Deyoung: And the Lord of Twitter spoke all these words saying, I am the Lord your God, who gave thee computers and tablets and smartphones, the Holy One of all social media who foreknew the internet before the foundation of the earth, yea even when the world of handles and hashtags was without form and void:
Posted on December 13th, 2013 by Cory Varden
1. When We Send a Person to His Death by John Piper: Ronnie Smith was shot and killed in Benghazi, Libya, on Thursday. He was 33. He was a husband and father. The leaders of his home church have given me permission to respond to his death publicly and carefully.
2. How to Get People to Read the Bible Without Making Them Feel Dumb by Trevin Wax: If we are to lead people to grow in their knowledge in Scripture, people who not only master the Bible’s content, but who are then mastered by the God of the Bible, then we need to do a reality check: the Bible is a tough book.
3.Christmas in Dark Places from Revival Media: It’s Christmas now… whatever the weather, Some soak in the sun, some huddle together. But fair days or foul, our plight He embraces. Real Christmas can shine in the darkest of places.
Posted on November 22nd, 2013 by Cory Varden
1 .The Word of the Year by Tim Challies: Every year Oxford Dictionaries announces a Word of the Year. This is a word, or expression, that has attracted a great deal of interest that year. Throughout the year the Dictionary staff track words using all kinds of interesting means and in November they narrow in on a few for special consideration. A final selection team is made up of lexicographers and consultants to the dictionary team, and editorial, marketing, and publicity staff. This year, all of that effort led to this word: Selfie.
2. 3 Common Ways to Read Scripture by Matt Smethurst: I’m always a little skeptical when I hear people talk about reading Scripture “devotionally” rather than, say, “academically” (or vice versa). Who says we have to choose? I wonder.
3. Ted Turner says he does not want to go to hell by Denny Burk: CNN has a fascinating and wide-ranging feature on Ted Turner today. Among other things, it says that Turner has grown more reflective about his mortality in his later years. Turner even confesses that he doesn’t want to go to hell. It’s a provocative piece in many ways.
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