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April 09, 2016

Common Misconceptions About Calvinism

Cole Brown is beginning a series on some of the most common misconceptions about Calvinism. He begins, of course, with the word itself: Calvinism.

What Is Love?

What is love? This, for sure. What a sweet video.

Why Hospitality Beats Entertaining

Jen Wilkin circles back to her most regrettable social media mistake. “On November 6, 2010 I tweeted the most regrettable tweet of my mediocre social media career. In anticipation of the holiday season, I decided to weigh in on hospitality. The tweet was a flawless blend of selective memory and self-righteousness, designed to heap condemnation on the heads of my followers under the guise of offering wise counsel. It was a verbal “selfie” snapped from my best angle, positioned to make me look very, very good. Let’s have a look at it, shall we?”

The Church’s Law-Grace Throwdown

“A group of 18th-century Scottish churchmen fought bitterly over the right teaching. How we can we avoid veering toward their extremes?” Andrew Wilson reviews Sinclair Ferguson’s book in Christianity Today.

Six Reasons North Carolina Got It Right

Frank Turek tells why North Carolina got it right. Things like this are not at all surprising: “On Monday Lt. Governor Dan Forest, who helped call the special session to pass HB2, called the executive in charge at one large protesting company and simply asked him if he or anyone there had actually read the bill.” Of course, they hadn’t.

3 Reasons Why Religious Liberty Laws Don’t Discriminate

“One of the most ubiquitous phrases is that such bills are a ‘license to discriminate.’ According to this line of thinking, it is invidiously discriminatory if a baker, florist, or photographer declines to use his or her creative talents in service of a same-sex wedding ceremony. This is decidedly not invidious discrimination. Here are three reasons why religious liberty legislation does not protect or allow for invidious discrimination.”

Proof of Evolution That You [Can’t] Find on Your Body

“Anatomist, biologist, and creation scientist Dr. David Menton responds to popular YouTube video ‘Proof of Evolution That You Can Find on Your Body’ (posted by VOX) from a biblical and scientific worldview. Are certain features like goosebumps, of the human body really just left over from our ancestors?”

This Day in 1945. 71 years ago today, the Gestapo killed Dietrich Bonhoeffer by hanging him in Flossenbürg, Germany. *

The Great Battle of 2016 for Dar es Salaam

This is a thoroughly enjoyable bit of writing from Amy Medina.

Q&A with Nabeel Qureshi, author of Answering Jihad

Thanks to Zondervan for sponsoring the blog this week with their Q&A with Nabeel Qureshi.

Sibbes

God can pick sense out of a confused prayer. —Richard Sibbes

April 08, 2016

Why International Adoptions by Americans Have Hit a 35-Year Low

“In 2004, Americans adopted 22,884 children from foreign countries—an all-time high. Twelve years later, that number has dropped to 5,648 children—the lowest level in 35 years, according to recently released statistics from the US State Department on fiscal year 2015 (Oct. 1, 2014 to Sept. 30, 2015). The sharp decline isn’t limited to the United States; global adoptions to the top 24 receiving countries dropped by 75 percent during the same 12 years.”

Faithful Preachers are Forgetful Preachers

H.B. Charles has some wisdom for preachers (and everyone else) about the value of a certain kind of forgetfulness.

Keeping the Faith in A Faithless Age

Al Mohler: “The church has no right to follow the secular siren call toward moral revisionism and politically correct positions on the issues of the day.”

How Many Heartbeats Do You Have Left?

Have you ever considered how many heart beats you have in your lifetime? BBC Earth’s Maddie Moate explains.

Safe Schools, Gender Non-Conformity, and Common Sense

Kevin DeYoung shares a letter he wrote to The Michigan Department of Education.

This Day in 1939. 77 years ago today, John Frame was born. You can wish Dr. Frame a Happy Birthday on Twitter!

When an Unbeliever Dies

This is good counsel on offering genuine comfort when an unbeliever dies.

Do You Really Need Email on Your Phone?

It’s worth considering.

Brooks

Heavenly doctrines should always be adorned with a heavenly life. —Thomas Brooks

April 07, 2016

Forgetting the Past

Ed Welch: “Scripture does help us with our painful pasts, but it does more than that. It tells us to forget things we want to remember, and remember things we are likely to forget.”

I.O.U.

Darryl Dash looks at evangelism as a debt we owe to others. “Paul says that he’s under obligation to pretty much everyone. The word he uses implies debt. Interesting. How does Paul owe a debt that brings him under obligation to others?”

From Peddling Dope to Pleasing Jesus

In WORLD magazine a “drug-dealer-turned-pastor reflects on a life of miracles bestowed to bring God glory.”

Is Your Church a Safe Place

“If you want your church to be a safe place for those with same sex attraction (SSA), then step one is to realize that we already have church members who experience it. Just like those who are dealing with any other struggle, we should thank God for bringing them to our churches, and ask God to help us serve them well.”

Preach the Word

A new issue of Credo is available. You can read it for free online or download it in PDF format. “In this issue of Credo Magazine we aim to help pastors and churchgoers alike recover a love for Bible-preaching.”

The Exaggerated Influence of ISIS

This video shows that, while ISIS is scary, their influence tends to be exaggerated.

This Day in 1884. 132 years ago today, English clergyman and Bible scholar C. H. Dodd was born. *

Elders and Deacons

This week’s deals at Westminster Books are related to church leadership and led by Bob Thune’s new book which has received many accolades.

Fighting Lust With Lust

Those earnestly fighting against sexual sin (or wanting to fight against sexual sin) may find help in this article.

Spurgeon

When we have to do a severe thing, let us choose the tenderest manner. —C.H. Spurgeon

April 06, 2016

Followed By The God of Grace

Be sure to read Garrett Kell’s story of being followed by God: “It was early in my junior year at Virginia Tech—and I felt like everywhere I turned, God was following me around.”

Is WebMD Trustworthy?

Can you trust WebMD? Kind of. But not really.

Fulfilling God’s Call to Christian Service

Vance Christie shares a mini-biography of Gladys Aylward, focusing on the early days of her ministry.

Sheep Tragi-Comedy #1,317

This is good: “Amusing sheep stories abound. Some of my moments of more rigorous chortling have been in response to real-life sheep tragi-comedies. One of the more recent involves what is called the ‘Draad Kruiper,’ which I heard from my good friend, Pastor Anton Van Straaten. ‘Draad Kruiper’ is Afrikaans for, ‘fence crawler’.”

5 Leadership Questions

I was recently a guest on the 5 Leadership Questions Podcast with Todd Adkins and Barnabas Piper.

The Universe Had a Beginning

“In this excerpt from his message at [Ligonier Ministries’] 2012 National Conference, Dr. Stephen Meyer tells the story of how Hubble showed Einstein that the universe was not eternal but must have had a beginning.”

This Day in 1932. 84 years ago today, Olympic runner Eric Liddell made his evangelistic debut by sharing his testimony to a group of men in Armadale, Scotland. *

Foundry Bible Immersion

This looks like a pretty amazing program for college-aged students.

New JBMW

A new edition of the Journal of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood is now available. It’s a free download.

Watson

The more outrageous the wicked are against the truth, the more courageous the godly are for it. —Thomas Watson

April 05, 2016

9 Things You Need to Know about Backpage.com and Sex Trafficking

This is awful but important. “Many assume sex trafficking is restricted to the darkest corners of the Internet. The online classified ad company ‘Backpage,’ however, has become the Walmart of sex trafficking and prostitution. For a modest fee, traffickers can post sex ads of women and children they control with force or fraud.”

Why Porn Kills Sex

On a similar note, Russell Moore looks at the recent edition of TIME, which has a cover story on porn, and talks about why pornography is so destructive to healthy sexuality.

My Pastor Uses Pre-Made Sermons

This is surprisingly common today. John Piper tells why it’s a bad idea.

Methuselah’s Age and the Patience of God

I enjoyed Nathan Busenitz’s reflection on the man who lived the longest.

5 Ways To Wound Immature Believers

“Making fun of immature Christians has turned into quite the lucrative market. The more mature Christians among us seem to have discovered this, as more and more spoof sites are cropping up.” Hmm… 

This Day in 1524. 492 years ago today, “Swiss reformer Ulrich Zwingli marries Anna Reinhart for the second time—this time in public.” *

The Institute for Expository Preaching

Steve Lawson is leading one of his institutes for expository preaching here in Toronto. You can get details at the link.

Facing A Task Unfinished

“On February 21st, 2016, Getty Music in partnership with OMF International led an estimated 1.1 million believers together across 100 countries for an unparalleled ‘Global Hymn Sing’ featuring the hymn ‘Facing a Task Unfinished.’” Between you and me, I think the hymn was oversold a bit as “the greatest missions hymn ever,” but it is still really amazing to see how many people sang it!

Explainer: The Lexi Page Case

Joe Carter explains the Lexi Page case which you may have heard of via social media.

Barrett

An evangelicalism with no boundaries will inevitably result in an evangelicalism with no orthodoxy. —Matthew Barrett

April 04, 2016

Beneath The Evangelical Earthquake

Paul Carter writes about the word “evangelical” and our increasing reticence to be described that way.

The Intelligent Life of the City Raccoon

Well isn’t this fascinating: city raccoons are smarter than country raccoons because they have to reason their way through more complex challenges.

18 Things to Pray for Your Church

Jonathan Leeman provides 18 different things you can pray for your church.

Love Ain’t Easy

I’m looking forward to this series from Melissa Edgington as she discusses some of the difficult parts of marriage. The first part gets the series off to a good start.

Writing Advice

David Qaoud has collected writing tips from 5 of today’s most influential Christian writers.

This Day in 1968. 48 years ago today, civil rights leader and Baptist minister Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. *

The First 12 Hours

This is an interesting timeline and article from the New York Times as they tell how they responded in the first 12 hours after the recent bombings in Brussels.

The Omni-Directional Blessing of Bible Reading

Jemar Tisby shows that the simple discipline of reading and knowing your Bible works itself out in your life in many different ways.

Brooks

A preacher’s life should be a commentary of his doctrine; his practice should be a counterpart of his sermons. —Thomas Brooks

April 02, 2016

12 Things to Know About the Anti-Christ

“We, in the Calvinistic and Reformed church, have not done justice to the Scripture’s teaching on this matter. We often rightly respond to the ‘Left Behind’ industry with dismay and sarcasm. In so doing, however, we have, perhaps inadvertently failed to sufficiently and soberly grasp Scripture’s teaching on this period of history which will be instrumental in bringing about a catastrophic and irreversible apostasy.”

Making Jesus in Our Own Image

I think you will enjoy this brief, challenging excerpt from an interview with Sinclair Ferguson.

Of Burner Phones and Busy Lives

This is a wise and challenging reflection on modern technologies and the ways they captivate us.

How To Become A Better Theologian

Edmondo Sanganyado had the novel idea of writing a long list of people to ask how to become a better theologian. The results are quite interesting, I think.

I’m a Christian and I Hate Christian Movies

I’m not convinced by the solution offered in this article, but I do think the author does a good job of explaining why Christian movies can be so disappointing.

Tomorrow in 1593. 423 years ago tomorrow, English poet George Herbert was born. *

The Right Kind of Code

Barnabas Piper talks about a recent locker room scandal: “When expressions of friendship and manhood mean covering up the misdeeds of another, especially from the one being wronged, it is neither friendship nor manhood—it is twisted cowardice.”

A Follow-up Response to Professor Keathley’s Erroneous Claims

This article is, to my knowledge, the most recent in a chain of respectful back-and-forth arguments that included my recent entry on Ken Ham and his view of evolution.

The Top 10 Books on Reconciling Divine Sovereignty and Free Will

Thanks to P&R for sponsoring the blog this week with “The Top 10 Books on Reconciling Divine Sovereignty and Free Will.”

Sibbes

There is never a holy sigh, never a tear we shed, which is lost. —Richard Sibbes

April 01, 2016

Andy Stanley’s Problem with the Bible

“Andy Stanley knows the Bible. As the son of the popular Baptist pastor, Dr. Charles Stanley, he has grown up under Bible teaching and preaching. As a pastor of a very large megachurch, North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Georgia, Andy Stanley has spent much time reading and studying the Bible. So, why does it seem that Andy Stanley has a problem with the Bible on so many different levels?”

Paul Washer Snaps

This anecdote from Paul Washer cracked me up. (And, on a satirical note, In Lieu Of Sermon, Paul Washer Glares At Congregation For 43 Straight Minutes.)

I Slept with My Girlfriend — Now What?

John Piper may no longer lead a church, but he still has the heart of a pastor.

Does the Pro-Life Movement Want to Punish Women?

Russell Moore: “Regardless of whether or not Trump’s comments come from a genuine and convictional pro-life worldview, all pro-life Americans need to make this issue clear: Protecting unborn babies is not about punishing women, but punishing an industry and a culture that dehumanizes human beings.” (Denny Burk also comments.)

Drugs You Don’t Need for Disorders You Don’t Have

I enjoyed this longform article on the pharmaceutical industry and how they can bamboozle us into buying ineffective and unnecessary medications. (Note: Click the button on the bottom-right to skip the splash page.)

This Day in 1743. 273 years ago today, David Brainerd began his missionary work among the Native Americans of New Jersey. *

Speed Limit 101

This short video explains all need to know about speed limits (and why your speedometer never quite matches your GPS).

How “God’s Not Dead” Fails Christians

I guess God’s Not Dead 2 comes to theatres this weekend. In the meantime, here’s a review of the first movie that does a good job of explaining objections to the first one.

Wragg

Spiritual credibility springs from a holy and pure life. —Jerry Wragg