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June 20, 2016

 

My Father

My good friend Sam writes movingly about fatherhood and fatherlessness. “I’ve come to accept that I am probably never going to meet my father. I know that I am probably never going to shake my father’s hand—or give him the most awkward hug in history. I am never going to get to ask him the questions I’ve been wanting to ask since I was old enough to have questions.”

10 Unforgettable Lessons on Fatherhood

Ray Ortlund shares ten lessons on fatherhood he drew from his dad. “In no particular order, here are ten lessons on fatherhood I learned from watching him, each lesson living on in my life from memories of his care for me.”

Sexual Desire and the Single Girl

“Imagine keeping a lion in a small cat-carrier. For years. Day after day. Night after night. He roars. He eats. (A lot.) His energy is endless. And yet you keep him caged.” That’s how Colleen Chao describes sexual desire as a single girl.

Raising Christian Kids in a Public School

If your children are in public schools, you may appreciate Melissa’s thoughts on her family’s experience.

On Dancing and the Regulative Principle

Andrew Wilson and Jonathan Leeman are discussing dancing in worship services and whether it is wise or permissible. In this first article Leeman tells why he is not in favor.

This Day in 1974. 42 years ago today, Matt Chandler was born. Happy birthday Matt!

California on Fire

This is some amazing footage of wildfires in California.

Our Best Life Yet to Come

Randy Alcorn offers some encouragement: “Our perspective today is informed by the reality that resurrection awaits God’s children. This means we’ll never pass our peaks. The best is yet to come! No need for bucket lists, because the adventures awaiting us in the New Heavens and on the New Earth will far exceed the greatest thrills of this life.”

Flashback: 7 Marks of a False Teacher

False teachers have been present in every era of human history, they have always been a plague and have always been in the business of providing counterfeit truth. While their circumstances may change, their methods remain consistent. Here are seven marks of a false teacher.

Price

Christianity can been seen as a system of morality or ethics. In fact, it is the opposite, it is a declaration of moral and ethical failure. —Tom Price

June 18, 2016

Christian Audio

Christian Audio is holding their twice-yearly sale. This is a great time to try out their service. During this sale even brand new books are heavily discounted.

Why Sex Isn’t the Best Thing Ever

Lore Ferguson: “One of the best blessings to me in my singleness were friends who did not make marriage an ultimate thing in my eyes by only telling me the beautiful parts of their marriage, but who told me the difficulties of it as well. They also prayed for me actively to someday have the gift of marriage. I hope I am doing the same for my still single friends who desire the gift.”

A Swimming Pool in the ICU?

Here’s an interesting little story that appeared in the Wall Street Journal.

The Two Words Fathers Should Say to Their Children

As theologian D.A. Carson says, “Do you ever say to a young Christian, ‘Do you want to know what Christianity is like? Watch me!’ If you never do, you are unbiblical.”

God Permits Evil, But Does Not Cause It

Sometimes the fine distinctions make a world of difference.

Tomorrow in 1939. 77 years ago tomorrow, pastor John MacArthur was born. Happy birthday, Dr. MacArthur!

It’s Going to be an Issue

“Biola University, located in Southern California and one of the country’s most well-known and prestigious evangelical colleges, now finds itself arguing for its right to be evangelical.”

The Death of Dawson Trotman

60 years ago today the founder of Navigators died while saving a girl’s life. Here’s what happened.

Flashback: Leading in Love

Wayne Grudem allows a little glimpse inside his marriage to see how complementarianism plays out in real life.

Give Me Your Heart

I’m thankful to Ligonier Ministries for sponsoring the blog with the article “Give Me Your Heart.”

Spurgeon

The more empty I am, the more room is there for my Master. The more I lack, the more He will give me. —C.H. Spurgeon

June 17, 2016

 

Did Jesus Have a Wife?

This is a fascinating bit of investigative journalism from The Atlantic. Please note that it is a little PG-13 at times as the reporter chases down his story. “A hotly contested, supposedly ancient manuscript suggests Christ was married. But believing its origin story requires a big leap of faith.” (Also, New Testament scholar Michael Kruger comments and Karen King responds.)

Airplane Black Boxes

Ever wondered about those black boxes they talk about after a plane crash? This video tells all about them.

Making Sense of the Trinity Debate

Here’s another reader-friendly overview of the current Trinity debate.

4 Ways to Reach a Child’s Heart

Richard Phillips explains how a godly father plants good things in the hearts of his children.

Sermons on Marriage

Here are the collected (and free!) sermons of Alistair Begg on marriage.

Orlando Shooting Launches a War on Christianity

Yes, this is exactly the case. “The result is bigotry running two ways — an unreasoning, irrational hatred of American Christians and a comprehensive denial of Muslim moral agency. American Christians are responsible for things they don’t believe. Sharia-observant Muslims, by contrast, aren’t responsible for the things they do believe.”

Available Now! Keith and Kristyn Getty’s new album, Facing a Task Unfinished, is now available. I’ve listened to it a hundred times already and love it!

What the Hook-up Culture Has Done to Women

This is difficult to read, but very important. As the author says, “It is no coincidence that the top two prescribed drugs at our state university’s health center are anti-depressants and the birth-control pill.”

G3 Conference

Next January’s G3 Conference is getting bigger and better all the time. If you’re looking for a 2017 conference, you may be interested in a trip to Atlanta.

Flashback: Setting Up My Kids for Salvation

“When it comes to my kids, I seem to want to believe that God’s action is dependent upon my action. I believe that for God to save my kids, I first need to do the right things. If I want God to save them, I need to cross the spiritual t’s and dot the spiritual i’s…”

Horton

Ironically, it is only when we know how to die properly that we finally have some inkling about how to truly live here and now. —Michael Horton

June 16, 2016

 

How Fast Does a Christian Grow?

How fast does a Christian grow? Not fast enough for our satisfaction! “If you come to Christ as a teenager or adult, some practices might be obvious (if painful) to change. But Christian maturity is more about the heart than it is about behavior. Our trust, hopes, and desires need to change, and good behavior follows.”

What Book Shall I Preach on Next?

Here is some sensible advice on choosing what books to preach. The same questions could be helpful for choosing a book to read for personal or family devotions.

Lecrae and The Washington Post

The Washington Post has quite a long article on Christian rapper Lecrae. “This generation doesn’t have a Billy Graham,” said LaDawn Johnson, a sociologist at Biola University, an evangelical school outside Los Angeles where Lecrae performed in April. “We’ve lost any kind of significant evangelical leader people could point to, and Lecrae is in a position where he could definitely for many young people be that voice and be that model.”

The Debate so Far

If you’re interested in getting oriented in the ongoing discussion/controversy of the eternal subordination of the Son, here’s a good place to start.

The Gift of Being Limited

“God = limitless goodness and faithfulness. Me = limited in every way. God-designed limits for me = God’s goodness and faithfulness to me.”

This Day in 1855. 161 years ago today, William and Catherine Booth, founders of the Salvation Army, married, having fallen in love the first night they met. *

Involuntary Sins

Can you really be held responsible for those sins that flow out of instinct or ignorance?

The Secret Anti-Counterfeit Symbol

“You can’t copy money. Like really, it’s not just illegal, you just can’t do it on a photocopier.” This video explains why.

Flashback: Making the Case Against Abortion

How can we make a case against abortion? How can Christians convince others that abortion is wrong? Here’s one tactic.

Bonhoeffer

I can no longer condemn or hate a brother for whom I pray, no matter how much trouble he causes me. —Dietrich Bonhoeffer

June 15, 2016

His Wife, Not His Mother

Melissa: “I know that many of you who are reading this are thinking that you wouldn’t treat your husband like a child if he didn’t act like one. I get that. I really do. But, as long as we are slipping into the role of being his mother instead of his wife, we are only perpetuating the cycle.”

Unpretty

It was a joy to see my friend Dorcas writing a great article for RAAN

Know Your Flock

Jared Wilson explains why a pastor’s preaching depends upon actually knowing his flock.

Men for God

If you’re in or near Vancouver, I’d love to see you at the Men for God Conference next weekend.

Should I Finish School Before I Marry?

I appreciate John Piper’s handling of this question.

Southern Baptists and the Confederate Flag

Russell Moore writes about the Southern Baptist Convention voting yesterday to repudiate the display of the Confederate flag.

This Day in 1520. 496 years ago today, Leo X condemned Martin Luther on 41 of counts of heresy, branding him an enemy of the Roman Catholic Church. *

Orlando: The Reichstag Fire

This seems a little alarmist, but it’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility. Rod Dreher says “Orlando is a ‘Reichstag fire’ event, I predict, because it is a genuine and appalling atrocity that will lead to the demonization, in law and in custom, of orthodox Christians and any who disagree with whatever LGBTs and their allies want.”

The Engineering of a Disposable Diaper

I’m so glad that the Engineering Guy is back after a hiatus. In this video he tells why that simple disposable diaper we take for granted is actually an engineering marvel.

Flashback: So You Got Your First Smartphone…

Here’s a letter to a teen who just got her very first smartphone.

Horton

Legalism is simply separating the law of God from the person of God. —Sinclair Ferguson

June 14, 2016

Why You Should Care About Theology

David offers three good reasons that you should care about theology. “God has graciously revealed himself through his Word, and every follower of Christ should take pains to know him well. Every Christian, therefore, is a theologian.”

The Gospel: 2016 West Coast Conference

Ligonier has posted the audio and video of the 2016 West Coast Conference. You’ll find a long list of sessions there, including five short ones I did with Nathan Bingham that focus on life in a digital world.

18 Theses on the Father and the Son

Fred Sanders, who has written an excellent book on the Trinity, provides 18 theses on the Father and the Son.

Planned Obsolescence

I’m sure you’ve heard of devices that have planned obsolescence built right into them. This article discusses how it works. “For a fully modern example, consider smartphones. These handsets often get discarded after a mere couple years’ use. Screens or buttons break, batteries die, or their operating systems, apps, and so on can suddenly no longer be upgraded. Yet a solution is always near at hand: brand new handset models, pumped out every year or so, and touted as ‘the best ever’.”

Crafting Expository Sermons

H.B. Charles has a helpful article on crafting an expository sermon. “Expositional preaching gets a bad rap for being dry, boring, and lifeless. But zombie preachers should be indicted, not expository preaching.”

This Day in 1936. 80 years ago today, G.K. Chesterton, an influential Roman Catholic apologist and wit noted for his use of paradox, died at age 62. *

Patience

This guy spent two years shooting timelapses across Europe. In just two minutes he shows off some of his favorites.

No Automatic Holiness

D.A. Carson explains how knowing the Bible does not automatically produce personal holiness.

Flashback: How Should Christians Fast?

Here are six quick guidelines for Christian fasting.

Horton

Evil is not a principle in creation itself but is the willful distortion of good gifts into an arsenal deployed against God’s reign. —Michael Horton

June 13, 2016

Can We Still Weep Together After Orlando?

Russell Moore writes for TIME in the aftermath of the shootings in Orlando. “Our national divisions increasingly make it difficult for us not just to work together, but even to pause and weep together. We become more concerned about protecting ourselves from one another’s political pronouncements than we do with mourning with those who mourn.”

A Quick Guide to the Trinity Debate

You may have noticed a little Trinity debate racing through social media last week. Andrew Wilson provides a reader-friendly recap and explanation.

My Neighbors Ate My Dog, and I am Sad

You know (or hope, at least) you’re reading a missionary blog when the article has a title like that.

Selah: What does it mean in the Psalms?

Chris briefly lays out the possible and probable meanings for that little word selah that appears so often in the psalms.

Mecca Goes Mega

“The Italian photographer Luca Locatelli, visiting Mecca this year during the umrah period, captured how radically the city has changed to accommodate this growing influx of pilgrims.” It’s a neat photo essay and a sad testimony to works righteousness.

This Day in 1525. 491 years ago today, German reformer, Martin Luther, formerly a monk, married Katherine von Bora, formerly a nun, who had escaped from her convent in a fish barrel. *

Lord, Make Me Viral

Barnabas Piper shares a poem about being viral.

Little Eyes Are Watching in Worship

“Three small communion cups, drained empty, are stacked together in my hand. My two little girls sit on my right, not so little anymore.”

Flashback: It’s Not a Blind Faith

We don’t need faith when we have all the answers. We need faith when we don’t have all the answers.

Spurgeon

Do what the Lord bids you, where he bids you, as he bids you, as long as he bids you, and do it at once. —C.H. Spurgeon

June 11, 2016

Change the Definition, Claim the Right

This is exactly what has been happening in a few of our recent cultural conversations: First you change the definition, then you claim the right.

California Bill Threatens Freedom of Religious Colleges

Joe Carter provides one of his FAQs: “Legislation pending in the California State Senate threatens to strip some private colleges and universities of an exemption that protects them from lawsuits and allows them to function as faith-based organizations.”

Help Launch TGC Canada

A movement is afoot to launch The Gospel Coalition Canada. Canadians will want to be sure to check out the link and consider getting involved.

Read Scripture: Ecclesiastes

The Bible Project has moved to Ecclesiastes in their series of short videos giving an overview of each book of the Bible.

“Um” and “Like” and Being Heard

Seth Godin provides wise (and practical) counsel on ridding your speech of those little filler words. These are the words you don’t notice that drive everyone else crazy.

Tomorrow in 1744. 272 years ago tomorrow, David Brainerd was ordained a missionary at age 26 to the Indians in Colonial New England by the Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge (SPCK). *

Surprised by Suffering

R.C. Sproul shares some of what he has been learning as he has grappled with serious health concerns.

Flashback: When My Fashion Accessory Told Me To Take a Hike

“There was a day when one of my fashion accessories talked back. It told me to take a hike. I had said something about it on Facebook or Twitter or snapped a picture of it for Instagram and it was none too pleased. It said it to me nicely enough, but the point was clear: cut it out.”

What Type of Vacation Reader Are You?

My thanks goes to The Good Book Company for sponsoring the blog this week with “What Type of Vacation Reader Are You?”

Ferguson

Repentance is not a discrete external act; it is the turning round of the whole life in faith in Christ. —Sinclair Ferguson