Born in Slavery, Longing for Freedom

Thomas Johnson was an African-American, born into slavery on a Northern Virginia plantation in the mid-1800s. When he was only ten years old, his mother was sold to another plantation. The one person in his life who brought him a sense of stability and peace was suddenly gone. The separation produced in his soul a bitter hatred for his captors, and an insatiable desire for freedom.

Thomas would spend much of his time in the tobacco fields, toiling away from sun-up to sun-down, experiencing a level of back-breaking labor that is hard to fathom. But on some days, the master of the plantation would allow Thomas to work in the “Big House,” cooking food or serving guests for various parties. On the dining room wall hung a map of the eastern part of the United States. Although he could barely read or write, Thomas memorized the names of the towns from Richmond, Virginia to Washington, DC, with the hopes that he could one day muster the courage to escape from the plantation that kept him in chains.

10 Common but Illegitimate Reasons to Divorce

It is clear in the Bible that God’s intention for marriage is that it remain in effect until the death of one spouse. I believe it is also quite clear that God has provided a limited set of circumstances in which a marriage can legitimately be severed. However, many people—even Christians—offer reasons to divorce that are not sanctioned by God. Jim Newheiser helpfully outlines a number of these in his book Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage: Critical Questions and Answers. Here …

A La Carte (August 21)

Today’s Kindle deals include some deals from Crossway (just like every other Monday) plus a biography of C.S. Lewis. Solar Eclipse Vox has an interactive graphic to show you what you might see of the eclipse from various zip codes across America. Excess, Minimalism, & Idolatry All the Same “I love the Pixar movie Up! I think the sentiment, “Adventure is out there!” from the film is probably innocent and mostly true. Adventure is out there. But as a parent, …

EPIC: Germany (Wrap-up)

My trip to Germany has come to an end. At least, it will be at an end bright and early tomorrow morning when I’ll head back to Toronto. There are quite a lot of things I’m taking away from the trip, which you can read about in these little excerpts from my travel journal.

Two Gifts You Give To Others in Your Sanctification

It’s a drum I beat again and again: Your sanctification is a gift to others. Your continual growth in holiness is not something you emphasize merely for your own benefit or your own assurance, but something you pursue for the benefit of others. This message cuts hard against the individualism of western society, so is one we need to hear again and again. A wife’s sanctification is a gift she gives her husband. A pastor’s sanctification is a gift he …

EPIC: Germany (Days 5-6 + Coming Clean)

My journey through Germany continues as I go searching for church history. I realized, though, that in all I’ve said about this trip and the project behind it, I’ve failed to give key information. So on one of these pages I tell what this trip (and the book it will lead to) is really about.

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Book Reviews

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Weekend A La Carte (August 19)

Check out Westminster Books for some new deals on timely books. Yesterday I shared a review of an excellent new book: Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage: Critical Questions and Answers. Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Eclipses Atlas Obscura answers a host of questions about the coming eclipse. 10 Suggestions For New Bible College Students “From one Bible college graduate to another, here’s a brief word to students beginning their education this month…” Seminary Is Not an Oasis “While my mind …

Free Stuff Fridays (Conference Tickets)

This week’s Free Stuff Fridays is sponsored by the G3 Conference which also sponsored the blog this week. The G3 Conference will be taking place January 18-20 in Atlanta, Georgia, and will feature a long list of speakers including Steven Lawson, Voddie Baucham, Keith Getty, H.B. Charles Jr., Tom Ascol and many more. It will also include a Spanish pre-conference on January 17. There will be five winners this week and each will receive a great prize: Passes for two to attend the G3 …

Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage

We are well-served with books on marriage. Whether we are approaching our wedding day or closing in on our 50th anniversary, we’ve got lots of wise counsel to turn to: The Meaning of Marriage by Tim and Kathy Keller, Married for God by Christopher Ash, When Sinners Say, “I Do,” by Dave Harvey, and on and on. But while we are well-served with books on marriage, we are not nearly so well-served with books on divorce and remarriage. And while …

A La Carte (August 18)

Today’s Kindle deals include just a few new titles. Yesterday I wrote about why you need to push yourself beyond headlines. Trump Is More In Touch Than You Think I link to this analysis from Rod Dreher because it seems to make a similar point to mine yesterday. Reading headlines in the news you’d come to one set of conclusions, but reading statistics you’d come to another. In all areas, whether religion or politics, you’ve got to read deeply if …

EPIC: Germany (Day 4)

I continue my journey through the Land of Luther, all as part of the project I’m calling EPIC. Today we visited Erfurt where Luther entered a monastery and began life as a monk. Here are a few notes and a couple of photos.

Today, More than Ever, Read Beyond the Headlines

I’m not sure the news will ever be the same after the presidency of Donald Trump. While the industry has already been in a long decline, it seems to have entered into an era of near-insanity as the networks and websites compete against one another to set new standards in thoughtless, bloviating reporting. Whether those networks love or hate the president, they seem to be tripping over themselves and one another to say the most the fastest, to constantly editorialize …

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My Books

Do More Better Cover

Do More Better

I wrote this short, fast-paced, practical guide to productivity to share what I have learned about getting things done in today’s digital world. It will help you learn to structure your life to do the most good to the glory of God. Read More

A La Carte (August 17)

Today’s Kindle deals include a few books you may want to add to your collection. Death on Demand? Once again, we turn to Holland for a warning of the “progress” that comes with the acceptance of assisted suicide. Iceland’s Future: Clear, Bright and Cold Iceland is celebrating that they have pretty much eliminated Downs Syndrome. But the way they did so is chilling. (See also this by Joe Carter.) The Elvis Phenomenon 40 years ago Elvis died, and R.C. Sproul …

EPIC: Germany (Days 2-3)

The EPIC trip to Germany continues. Yesterday we toured Wittenberg (where Luther lived, taught, preached, and, of course, nailed those 95 Theses to the door) and today we spent time in Eisleben (where Luther was born and died). As before, click any image to see it larger.

Protecting Children from Abuse: An Interview

It happens. We wish it didn’t happen and perhaps even try to pretend it doesn’t happen. But the tragic and undeniable reality is that there is abuse within the church. I recently spoke with Boz Tchividjian to ask some key questions for every Christian and every church. How prevalent is child sexual abuse in the Christian community? In the Protestant community specifically? Research has consistently found that approximately 1 in 4 females and 1 in 6 males will be sexually victimized …

A La Carte (August 16)

Today’s Kindle deals include a few deals from a few different authors. Westminster Books has a deal on the flagship ESV Bible. A Relationship, Not a Religion? Here’s an argument that you ought to stop saying, “It’s a relationship, not a religion.” In the Steps of Charles Spurgeon Trevin Wax shares a photo essay of sorts as he follows in Spurgeon’s steps. Why Do We Sleep Under Blankets? Why do we, even when it’s hot? Is this the Humble Way? …

Ask Me Anything (Leaving your Church, Catholicism, Ungodly Husband, etc)

I decided to begin the “Ask Me Anything” feature as a means of answering some of the questions I receive from readers of this site. Over the past few weeks I’ve received mountains of them, so please forgive me if I haven’t been able to take a shot at answering yours. Meanwhile, here are a few more attempts to answer a few more questions. I serve as pastor of Congregational Care in a large evangelical church. Recently our lead pastor …

A La Carte (August 15)

Today’s Kindle deals include a couple of timely books. The End Of An Era Conrad Mbewe has a beautiful blog post about Erroll Hulse. It’s worth reading even if you don’t know either man! Shining Divine Light in the Darkest Places Vance Christie continues his series of short historical articles with a look at Corrie Ten Boom. Christians Should Be Motivated to Minister to Homeless People “No matter where you live, there are men and women longing to set their …

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