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The Radical Book for Kids
October 25, 2016

I’m glad to say that this book passed the kid test. I deliberately left it lying on the table before my kids got home from school. My ten-year-old walked in, dumped her shoes and knapsack in the middle of the floor (we’re still working on that) and sauntered toward the kitchen. But she didn’t get there because she saw the book and just had to explore it. That’s a good sign.

It isn’t surprising, though, because Champ Thornton’s The Radical Book for Kids is eye-catching inside and out. In fact, I think it’s one of the best-looking kids’ books I’ve seen in a long time. (Props to Tim Green for the excellent cover design and Scot McDonald for the interior work.) Best of all, that good looking interior and exterior complements the interesting, important content. Thornton, father to three young children, says, “It’s my prayer that this book will be used by God to grow deep roots of faith in the children who read it. More than this, I hope it will also encourage young readers to keep on learning about his Word, his gospel, his church, and life in his world. If this book makes our children more curious and thirsty to know God and the good news of his Word, then it will have done its job.”

So what is The Radical Book for Kids? First, it is a book for children to read on their own, with kids between the ages of 8 and 14 as the target audience. Parents or teachers might also find it a helpful resource, but primarily it’s for children to read to themselves. Second, it’s a book that is radical according to a few different meanings of the word. Radical first meant “going to the root” and this book goes to the very roots of the Christian faith. Second, the word means “extreme” or “drastic,” and the book teaches “about following Jesus and standing for him in the storms of life” while also teaching about some people who did that. Third, it offers some radical (“excellent, cool”) fun—creating pottery, locating stars, and even building slingshots and catapults. By all of those definitions it’s radical.

The book is comprised of 67 short chapters that together span about 250 pages. It begins with a couple of chapters on the Bible, then advances to God and the gospel. From there it turns to the Christian life, sin, obedience, creation, and so on. Yet it doesn’t progress in a completely linear way. Rather, it circles back to important subjects, advancing them incrementally each time. It pauses for fun from time to time, or adds a biography of a key Christian figure. It offers help with friendship, with loving parents, with understanding the big picture of the Bible. It provides slick comparisons of the 4 gospels and then immediately offers instruction on tying 3 different kinds of knots. All throughout it is stuffed full of pictures, illustrations, sidebars, quizzes, and little points to ponder. All throughout it is written in a tone that speaks well to the target audience.

Overall, as children read this book they will encounter faith questions (Can you prove that God exists? How do we know the Bible is true?), fun facts, historical information and vignettes, lessons on the person and work of God, challenges to live like Jesus, fun skills to learn (friendship, cleaning your room, memorizing anything, etc), challenges to attempt (make a sling, make a sundial, etc), and knowledge about the Bible. It’s a great combination and one children will enjoy. Michael Horton says it well in his commendation: “It’s not just about fun facts; it is a spark for discover of God, his world, and our place in it.”

We’re living at a time when we have some exceptional children’s books available to us, books to complement and supplement the precious truths we want our children to know and to believe. The Radical Book for Kids is just such a book. It is especially noteworthy in that it is meant to be read by children rather than to children and in its excellent design that will effectively draw and hold their attention. It’s a book I recommend and one I will be encouraging my children to read.

October 25, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include: The American Hour by Os Guinness, Money, Greed, and God by Jay Richards, God’s Indwelling Presence by Jamaes Hamilton, Sgt. York by John Perry, Read the Bible for Life by George Guthrie.

Died: Jack Chick

Christianity Today writes, “Jack Chick, the cartoonist who wanted to save your soul from hell, died Sunday at age 92.” 

(Racial) Diversity and Reformed Identity

I really appreciate this article by Joe Kim. “(Racial) diversity within our theological community helps us all form a stronger sense of theological identity and sense of self.”

Photographing 400 Towns in Iowa

This photographer has taken shots of 400 towns in Iowa. Based on what he’s seen and experienced, he speaks about the Trump phenomenon. (Personally, I was drawn by his description of and sympathy with the rural poor.)

Meet the Baby Born Twice

CNN reports on a baby removed from her mother for surgery, then returned to her mother’s womb. Denny Burk asks a legitimate question about this.

The Witchdoctor’s Goats and Halloween

You’ll enjoy this reflection on Halloween at home and in Tanzania, the most superstitious country in Africa.

This Day in 1564. 452 years ago today German composer Hans Leo Hassler was born. He left a rich musical legacy including ‘Passion Corale’ to which the Church sings ‘O Sacred Head, Now Wounded.’ *

10 Things You should Know about Interpreting the Bible

Sam Storms: “Today we look at 10 things we should know about how to interpret the Bible (or conversely, how not to interpret it). But before we begin, it’s important to remember that the Bible is not an answer-book that provides ready-made explanations for all problems or solutions to puzzling questions…” 

Speak How You Speak

Here’s a tip for preachers or public speakers: Speak how to actually speak.

ARCTIC - Visual Vibes

There’s a bit of humanism mixed in, but this is still an amazing video displaying the beauty of the Arctic.

Flashback: The Discipline of Watching

This is one of the most important things Jerry Bridges ever taught me: ““Realize that your ‘temptation antenna’ is constantly scanning your environment looking for those areas of sin.” 

Let us receive nothing, believe nothing, follow nothing which is not in the Bible, nor can be proved by the Bible.J.C. Ryle

Death to Clickbait
October 24, 2016

I hate clickbait. I absolutely despise it. Clickbait is lazy. It’s manipulative. It’s distracting and disappointing. It’s an abomination. Death to clickbait!

What is clickbait? “Clickbaiting is the intentional act of over-promising or otherwise misrepresenting—in a headline, on social media, in an image, or some combination—what you’re going to find when you read a story on the web.” It uses headlines with provocative adjectives—stunning, amazing, unbelievable, shocking. It promises that it will blow your mind, that you won’t believe what you see, that it will change your life. You know clickbait when you see it. It’s made to be alluring, made to be so compelling that you click before you think.

Clickbait exists because there is so much media vying for our attention today. We are participants in an attention economy in which the easy currency is page views. Everyone wants page views! For companies and their sites, page views are closely tied to advertising and the money it brings. If you want to turn a profit, you’d better generate page views. For individuals and their blogs, page views are closely tied to influence and the opportunities it brings. If you want a book contract or a conference platform, you’d better be able to prove that you’ve got people clicking and reading.

There are easy ways and hard ways to generate page views. The hard way is to create great content—articles that are interesting, unique, compelling, worthwhile. It is no small feat to create content so strong that people will not only read it but also share it. The much easier way to generate page views is to create great headlines—or provocative ones, at least. With a great headline you’ll get the click, you’ll get the page view, and you don’t even need to invest all the time and effort in creating the great content. And this, of course, is where clickbait makes its appearance.

Clickbait goes wrong in at least two ways that ought to be especially convicting to Christian writers.

First, clickbait is a failure to tell the truth because it depends upon misrepresentation. It promises a lot but is almost invariably disappointing. The twelve life-changing productivity tips turn out to be old, weary ones you’ve heard a thousand times before. The mind-blowing new technique is pure gimmickry that wouldn’t work in a million years. The shocking photos are anything but. Clickbait is wax fruit—attractive but empty. It’s white bread—tasty but unsatisfying. It’s the Atlanta Braves—promising but disappointing. Whether it’s a straight-up lie or a mere stretch, clickbait fails the test of truth. Be warned: “Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool” (Proverbs 19:1). And “Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be full of gravel” (Proverbs 20:17).

Second, clickbait is a failure to loveClickbait exists where the writer or publisher is thinking of himself before others. His primary concern is not loving or serving other people by providing helpful, high-quality articles. No, his concern is building his own platform or stuffing his own pockets. This emphasis on money or influence works itself out in ways that frustrate the reader. As Christians we know better than to irritate others to benefit ourselves. Be challenged: “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10) and “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31).

There is nothing wrong and everything right with a great headline. There is nothing right and everything wrong with clickbait. Sometimes the difference between the two is subtle or subjective, but it’s usually found in the content that lies beyond the headline. If the headline is true and realistic, if it accurately describes the content, it may just be a great headline. If it is inaccurate, stretching, gimmicky, it may just be clickbait.

Here are a few encouragements to Christian writers:

  • Work hard to create headlines that are compelling but not gimmicky, that stand out in a crowded space but without resorting to manipulation and cheap tricks. Writing good headlines is a way you serve your readers.
  • Give people what you promised in the headline. Maybe give them more. Never give them less.
  • Keep an eye on your adjectives. If it’s not actually shocking, don’t say that it is. Don’t lead people to believe something is stunning or amazing unless you intend to prove that this is actually the case.
  • Put your readers first by putting content first. Don’t write for money or platform—not as the matter of first importance. Write for the joy of serving others. Before you click “publish” ask whether or how this article and its headline will serve other people. Pray about it.
  • Put the majority of your effort into creating articles that are true, that are deep, that are helpful, that are of the highest standards. Be willing to reject a great headline because it’s not quite true or not backed up by a great article. In fact, always be wary of an article that begins with a headline. It’s more likely that a good headline will follow a good article than vice versa.


October 24, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include a selection from Crossway related to the Reformation: ​The Reformation by Stephen Nichols; Experiencing the Truth by Anthony Carter; Luther on the Christian Life by Carl Trueman; Calvin on the Christian Life by Michael Horton. Then you’ll also find several from Matthias Media and a bunch of others (True Sexual Morality by Daniel Heimbach, and They Say We Are Infidels by Mindy Belz, etc). Check them out here.

Also, Ligonier Ministries has daily Reformation Week offers this week that will get you some pretty good deals.

10 Resolutions for Mental Health

John Piper offers ten resolutions for mental health.

6 Factors in Overcoming Roe v. Wade

WORLD: “The U.S. Constitution establishes that the Supreme Court is made up of justices who are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate, who are elected. Changing Roe v. Wade or other destructive Supreme Court decisions, therefore, rests unavoidably on political victories that can change the justices.”

The Masculine Case

Barton Swaim says, “A writer’s choice of pronouns tells us a lot about him.” Or about her. Or about them. And so on. This is an article about writing with clarity.

The Weird Economics Of Ikea

Ikea fascinates me. This article tells about some of its weird economics, like prices that go up then down. Mostly down. “Ikea is a behemoth. The home furnishing company uses 1 percent of the planet’s lumber, it says, and the 530 million cubic feet of wood used to make Ikea furniture each year pulls with its own kind of twisted gravity.”

This Day in 1648. 368 years ago today the Peace of Westphalia ended central Europe’s Thirty Year’s War providing equal political rights to Catholics and Protestants. *

20 Years With Jesus

Erik Raymond reflects on 20 years with Jesus.

Is Your Gospel an Urban Legend?

Jared Wilson wants you to consider the possibility. “If you talk a big game about ‘the gospel,’ but don’t live like it’s true, the people you do life with will begin to suspect you don’t actually believe it. Worse yet, they may begin to disbelieve it themselves.”

Valley of the Last Dinosaurs

Tyler Lyson has been hunting dinosaurs in the Badlands of North Dakota his whole life. This video displays some of his passion.

Three Things You Will Learn from Our New Book about Marijuana

The latest book from Cruciform Press, Can I Smoke Pot?, demonstrates how we can draw clear answers from Scripture about an important moral question, even where the Bible seems to be silent.

Flashback: 18 Things I Will Not Regret Doing With My Kids

When that wave rises up, when I feel like I could drown beneath all that regret, I sometimes consider those things I will never regret.

Your money flows most effortlessly toward your heart’s greatest love. —Tim Keller

October 23, 2016

This was a banner week for letters to the editor and I had a lot of them to read through and select from. In the end, I’ve chosen ones that speak about sleepovers, the ESV, problems with modern worship, and Roman sexual morality. I hope you find them helpful!

Letters on Why My Family Doesn’t Do Sleepovers

Tim: Far more people have read my article on sleepovers than any other article I’ve written. Not surprisingly, then, I receive far more letters to the editor for this one than any other. I’d estimate that about half of those who write agree with the article and the other half do not. Many of the ones who do agree with me explain in the most painful terms why they have made that decision.

I raised my children in the early/mid 90’s. It was the decade of the sleepover. Against my better judgement I let them have sleep over at their friends homes. I wish I hadn’t. My son was exposed to pornography and molested by the other boys. My daughter was exposed to horror films and other things and began cutting herself.
—Tomi B, Missouri City, TX


I know the world is bad and scary too. But, as parents we need to teach our children to trust people, trust humanity. It is not right to teach the kids to always look at everybody with a suspicious eye. Having said that, we also have to teach our kids to be safe, and if they feel unsafe, what is the appropriate thing to do. I beg to disagree that sleepovers are bad. No. It actually is a way of saying to our kids that, “We trust you will take care of ourselves in all situations possible.” Sleepovers are fun for the kids and it is not right to take away that happiness from a kid.
—Anita A, Issaquah,WA


Although I agree with your article, being a mom now myself I know I can’t protect my son if I’m not there. However, I’m a victim of pedophilia. I appreciated so much to get away from my home to sleep without worry of my mom’s boyfriend coming into my room at night. I would spend entire summers away at my friends’ houses. I never had to worry, I didn’t have to sleep with a knife under my bed. I’m forever thankful that my friends parents allowed me to basically live with them through elementary school. Nobody knew. I couldn’t tell anyone, but when I was away, I was free.
—Amber G, Vancouver, BC


Thank you for your insight on ‘sleepovers.’ After a recent discussion with a fellow mom/friend, I too have decided to not allow sleepovers, nor play dates at homes of parents I do not personally know. All children are welcome at our house instead. My friend’s son was invited to a birthday sleepover. It was presumed they were all boys but she later found out that a girl was there because she identified as a boy. These kids are 11 years old. Some parents think that is harmless but I do not. Kids are curious and a lot could happen that ones family does not agree with. In today’s genderless society, sleepovers are a whole new game, one in which I am not willing to participate in.
—Jocelyn L, Bellingham, MA


I agree with the article and have the same rules in my home. My children are allowed to attend the party until it is bed time and then I will come get them. I had a cousin who was molested the whole time she was growing up at her best friend’s house and didn’t say anything about it until she was 18 and had a breakdown. I vowed at that point that my children would never be put in that situation. I allow sleepovers at my home if their friends parents allow, I know myself and wouldn’t allow anything to happen to their children. In fact, boys downstairs girls upstairs if there are other children in my home. I just don’t trust other people with my children enough to take that risk.
—Tanya L, Montpelier, ID


I’m a mother of two now fully grown men. When they were children I too was faced with the question of sleeping over at friends or even relatives. My response was no because like you, even back then, 26 years ago, the reality of the “bad things” that could happen to your child, especially boys, was a frightening thought. The horror stories I were privy to as a teacher made my desire to protect my sons even more fiercely. I therefore never succumbed to the peer pressure and thankfully they’re grown and free. Truthfully, if I had to do it all over again, I would make the same choice.
—Gina, Trinidad

Letters on You, Me, and the ESV

Like you, I appreciate the ESV and I would also agree that Crossway made the right decision to reverse their decision about a permanent text. My concern is with the level of ‘elitism’ that is common among its proponents…exactly like how you described it in the last section of your article.

One cannot argue that a certain level of elitism have popped up among ESV proponents. Just think of the ‘Why we use the ESV’ articles from celebrity reformed pastors. It’s a bit odd and seems unique to the ESV phenomenon. I think it’s unfortunate. Good thing we have guys like D.A. Carson and Douglas Moo to keep things from moving to another KJV-only movement. My hope is built on nothing less than the ESV and Crossway Press!
—Alan D, Halifax, NS

Letters on 3 Awful Features of Roman Sexual Morality

Reading this article, I found myself reflecting on a key difference between the lives of early Christians within a pagan Roman culture and ours within a pagan “post Christian” culture. Our spiritual forebears weren’t trying to change the tide of the culture, rather they were choosing to allow their own lives to be transformed by the Spirit and vigorously inviting others to join in this experience. The culture of their day was dramatically altered as a result.

We today are often more about seeking enforcement of our Christian cultural heritage, hoping to retrench the tectonic changes which have already occurred, than in living out that rich heritage. In fact, statistics tell us that our own behavior (that of American Christians) is more aligned with the current culture than with Christ. Are we unconsciously trying to help ourselves by means of the law? That didn’t work so well for the Israelites; why would we expect different results ourselves?

Instead, we (that is, I) should be loving Jesus and allowing Him to love others through me, following His heart and commands with grateful delight, remaining so excited about what He’s done for me that I just can’t help telling everyone else. Does that mean Christians should withdraw from the political realm as many pagans fervently wish? I don’t think so, but that should neither be our primary focus nor our hope for the future. Trusting in any man who is not The Man, or in mankind, or any political/legal solution to our problems is essentially a form of idolatry.
—John K, Hoschton, GA

Letters on Missing Elements of Modern Worship

Thanks for your article. We follow the regulative principle of worship at our church. Many of our new members joined us simply because they “wanted to feel that they had truly worshiped God.” They left their old churches because they were tired of being entertained. If you readers are interested, there is a great article by Derek Thomas on Ligonier’s site with the Scriptural proof text for how God has laid out how He is to be worshiped.

More to your point; it grieves my heart over how it appears we have replaced what God requires of us in worship, with what man thinks will bring in and help keep those within the church. You made the point of how you walked away from the churches you visited with a sense of what was missing in their worship and like you, I don’t think we can any longer call those gatherings churches under the care of our Lord Jesus Christ. Too much has been replace by a man-centered focus.

Thanks for the article and we’ll continue to pray and ask God to restore to His people what is the height, depth, length, breath of His greatness and glory, so that we once again will have eyes to see anew and follow what God Himself has called us to. I think then our culture will change as common and saving grace covers the land once again.
—Daryl B, Katy, TX


I wanted to weep when I read this piece because it captured all the losses I have observed in he last 20 years as Christian when my pastors gradually prioritized that the Sunday service be seeker-friendly. I struggle with resentment when the mandate to fulfill the Great Commandment and the Great Commission is put forth as the justification for these changes. I am viewed by elders as raising impediments to building the Kingdom of God by asking for corporate prayer, doctrinally rich music and true expositional preaching. God has helped me accept the things I cannot control, but I grieve what we have lost and the fact that newcomers will probably never know what they are missing.
—Louise P, New York, NY


Thanks for that helpful article. The Anglican Book of Common Prayer helps to address most of those issues. There is always a confession, numerous well-thought prayers, normally three Bible readings, and an expositional sermon based on one of the readings. The lectionary needs to be adapted if you want to preach through books of the Bible consecutively, but otherwise the BCP will help address many of these issues.
—Nick J, Drung, Ireland


I have often appreciated your writing, but I took issue with this post.

First, what is the modern mega church service on a Sunday morning? Truthfully, one church looks very different from another, so we’ll have to speak in generalities but there is a valid point of view that says that the mega-church is the true successor to Billy Graham and the Crusade/Revivals of the past. If that is the point of the Sunday service at those churches is a.) gospel preaching b.) vision casting and Bible teaching/discipleship, prayer, etc happens at other points in the week then its no wonder that it’s missing elements that TC thinks they should have.

Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa for example, which has arguably been an epicenter for verse by verse biblical exposition for the past 40 years didn’t teach expositionally on Sunday mornings, rather verse by verse Bible Studies happened on Sunday evenings and at other points of the week. Could the same thing be happening at other mega-churches or perhaps in classes during the service so you attend one service and then go to a class in a way reminiscent of the old Baptist Sunday Schools?

Second, most of what you argue for seems to be a return to the traditions of the past. While not right or wrong, traditions of previous generations aren’t what we should base our liturgy on. Even where I agree with you, for example, wanting to see more prayer in service (my church has active prayer happening during song worship on Sunday mornings), you seem to lament that there isn’t a sort of prayer list: “please be with Mrs. Baker’s hip” etc, which would have all kind of issues in a mega-church setting. What a smaller church looked like in days gone by shouldn’t determine what a church (large or small) looks like today should it?

Third, congregational singing struck me as personal preference. As someone who leads song worship and spends a good deal of time thinking, writing and even speaking about worship leading, the problem of congregational engagement is a problem in churches both small and large, and more often I’ve heard concerns on this subject coming from smaller churches rather than larger ones.

This is a title that will Google search well and it will be well received by people who have a problem with this or that in the mega-church world. But is it really true? and if so, how is this helpful to the conversation? You are a pretty well known guy; and I’m sure that you could have gotten someone who was widely respected from the mega-church world and asked questions. it seems to me that two-way conversations are better.
—Adam D, Napa, CA


I would agree whole-heartedly with the article about what is missing in modern worship. Fortunately, I do not attend such a church—ours is quite traditional, really, centred on bible readings, prayer and a good range of hymns. Sadly the scenario you painted is more likely what you’ll meet in many churches here, too. As to why this is the case, a trend away from the lectionaries and liturgies of the church and a completely misguided attempt to make the church more attractive and acceptable to the youth has only served to dilute modern worship to a formula which provides little or no spiritual sustenance or fulfillment. In my view the church needs rebuilding and restoring to its former glory. I think it needs to take the lectionary seriously again and emphasize Eucharistic liturgies fully. Better to challenge the new Christian with a depth of worship which will sustain him or her for life, maybe even involvement in something extra like altar service, choral singing, campanology or lay-reading. This might stand a chance of attracting people in, but more seriously, prevent the exodus of faithful worshippers to whom the church is no longer the kind of Christian community they joined in the first place.
—Douglas J, Sheffield, UK

3 Kinds of Churches
October 22, 2016

As we prepare to worship God tomorrow, it may do us good to pause for just a few moments to consider the local church. What is the church? Why has God called us into these little communities? Does the local church really matter? It does! The local church is foundational to God’s plan for his people. In their book Church in Hard Places, Mez McConnell and Mike McKinley offer 6 reasons that the local church matters.

The local church is the way God intends to accomplish his mission in the world. “It is primarily though the local church that God wants to make himself known.” Of all the evangelism strategies in the world, of all the ministries in the world, none is more central than the local church. It’s interesting to note that Paul considered his ministry in an area fulfilled not when every person was reached, but when churches had been planted (see Romans 15:19-20). “Paul knew that the churches there were how the gospel would spread into all of the individual neighborhoods. Local churches do local evangelism.” The church is God’s plan, it is God’s mission.

The local church should matter to us because it matters to God. The church is Jesus’ body on earth (see Ephesians 1:22-23) and it is made up of all kinds of people from all walks of life. “Together we represent Christ here on earth through our local body of believers. Therefore, the church is central to the purposes of God and is of benefit to the world around us—even today in our increasingly hostile culture.” The church exists for God’s glory and showcases it in a unique way. “The church is built for Jesus, by Jesus, and on Jesus. It is simply unthinkable then to separate Jesus from the local church. If the gospel is the diamond in the great salvific plan of God, then the church is the clasp that supports it, holds it up, and shows it in its greatest light for the world to see.” If it matters so much to God, it needs to matter to us just as much.

The local church is where the believer grows. It is primarily in the local church that Christians learn doctrine, receive reproof, and train in righteousness (see Ephesians 4:11-13). The local church provides opportunities for growth that are available nowhere else. McConnell says, “In a scheme [a neighborhood] like Niddrie, people need the concerted time and effort that only a local church can provide. Very often people will turn up on our doorstep having heard the gospel through some parachurch ministry. Yet they almost always have large gaps in their biblical knowledge and Christian behavior. Without a local church committed to patiently teaching and training them, these people will flounder indefinitely.” We all need a local church if we are to become like Christ.

The local church is the place where believers must submit themselves to spiritual authority. Many people from many walks of life struggle with issues of authority, though this problem is especially prevalent in the schemes of Scotland. Mez says, “they will not accept criticism or input from anybody they regard as an authority figure.” This attitude needs to be dealt with immediately. God calls Christians to submit to spiritual authority within the local church (see Hebrews 13:17). All believers are called by God to put themselves under the care and oversight of elders. “A culture that despises any kind of authority needs to see healthy models of leadership and submission. And the place for people to see this modeled is in the local church.”

The local church is the best place for spiritual accountability. We have probably all encountered people who believed they were called to ministry or who even carried out some kind of ministry even though their lives were a mess. This happens where people do not have proper spiritual accountability. “All Christians need the spiritual accountability and discipline that being a member of the local church brings. It stops us from drifting. It offers a context for encouragement and rebuke. It provides a community to stir one another on to love and good deeds.”

The local church is the place from which discipline is biblically administered. The task of disciplining disobedient or unruly Christians belongs to the local church. This is a difficult task but one given specifically to the church as a means to show the deepest love and concern for the spiritual care of believers (Matthew 18:15-17). Discipline belongs to the church as one of its important functions.

As you prepare to worship God tomorrow, consider his mercy and his grace in giving us the local church.

October 22, 2016

It’s the weekend! This one kind of snuck up on me and yet somehow it’s one of those ridiculously packed-full ones. Mostly I’m looking forward to being at New City Baptist Church tomorrow to lead Sunday school and preach there. Other than that, it’s a weekend for family and friends. But before I get to it, here is some recommended reading:

Why Christians Love Books

Looking first at the incredible output of John Piper’s pen, Tony Reinke says, “Piper’s output may be abnormal, but the bookish nature of Christianity is not. We can trace our evangelical bibliophilia all the way back to the beginning of the Christian church…”


“It is exactly 50 years since tragedy swooped down on Aberfan killing 116 children and 28 adults.” BBC tells the sad story of a tragedy in Wales.

A Pastor Leaving the Ministry

Scott Hollingshead tells of a painful situation and, based on it, offers 3 warnings from a pastor who is leaving the ministry.

Raising Teens in a Hyper-Sexualized World

This little booklet from Eliza Huie may interest you. It’s a free download at Amazon..

Deathstyle: The New Lifestyle

Stephen laments society’s new deathstyle which has taken the place of a lifestyle.

This Day in 1922. 94 years ago today James William Charles Pennington, an escaped slave turned Presbyterian pastor and abolitionist, died. He was the first black man to attend Yale. *

Oscar Wilde’s Half Sisters

Here’s the unusual story of the deaths of Oscar Wilde’s half sisters. “We may never have the small details right, but by bringing the story to light, people seem to think, we honor the sisters in their death. Perhaps this is why years later an epitaph was erected at the graveyard of St. Molua’s church in Drumsnat in their honor.”

The Pains Of Humanity Have Been Draining Me

Lecrae explains why he and other African Americans are not “simply whining about the past.” “We are trying to expose how the past has affected the present and threatens the future.”

How My Parents Taught Me to Love the Church

Ricky Alcantar says, “Whether you realize it or not, you’re teaching your kids a theology of the church with your time.” 

Flashback: The Art and Science of the Humblebrag

Have you managed to get thousands of people to follow you on Twitter or friend you on Facebook? Do you need to keep reminding them why you are worthy of their attention? Let me offer you some ways you can grow in the art and science of the humblebrag.

Here’s How Christian Book Summaries Help You Learn More…In Less Time

Thanks to this week’s sponsor, Books at a Glance, for sponsoring the blog this week.

That demon of pride was born with us, and it will not die one hour before us.C.H. Spurgeon