A La Carte (January 4)

If you’re looking for some challenging but rewarding reading, Westminster Books is offering a great deal on Michael Horton’s new two-volume work on justification.

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(Yesterday on the blog: If I’m Forgiven, Why Can’t I Keep Sinning?)

Go Ahead and Criticize Missions (Constructively)

“When we travel, we know that God is the one who protects us. But that doesn’t stop us from finding the safest car seats, getting our brakes serviced, and using only reputable airlines. When we do evangelism and missions, we know that God is ultimately the one who saves souls. But why then are we supposed to check our brains at the door?” That’s a good question.

Storing Up God’s Word as a Precious Treasure

I enjoyed Sharon Sampson’s debut article at the Gentle Reformation blog. She tells about the best kind of treasure.

How We Saved Ourselves From Fitness

Here’s one to consider if you made a fitness goal for the new year. “Time. That was the whole point of all these labour-saving machines, wasn’t it? They promised us more time to do as we please. What they didn’t tell us is that all our labour-saving inventions would save us more than time – they would also save us from fitness. Many of us are now free from the really tough physical work at home and our jobs, and we live our daily lives in a level of comfort that the kings of old couldn’t have even imagined.”

How a Church Can Care for Former Prisoners

Is your church equipped to welcome former prisoners? “In loving the returning citizen, I would encourage you to treat him differently than the world treats them. The world says: “You can’t live here. You can’t work here. You are not welcome here. You cannot vote here.” If we are honest, discrimination against felons is acceptable in the world. Brothers and sisters, it cannot be acceptable in the church. If we believe that the blood of Christ cleanses us from all unrighteousness, then this includes felonious unrighteousness. Jesus calls us to “love your neighbor as yourself,” even if that neighbor happens to have been incarcerated, as I was.”

7 Things We Can Learn from the Puritans

If you’re wondering what to read in the year ahead, maybe this list from Joel Beeke (you can read it or watch it) will spur you to pick up some Puritan books.

Caring for a Friend with a History of Promiscuity and/or Abortion

There’s lots of wisdom for counselors (whether formal or informal) in this article from Brad Hambrick. Like this: “Jesus entered our world by humbling himself, in the form of a child. We enter another person’s world by humbling ourselves enough to listen. Whenever you are not sure what to say, focus on being a really good listener. Enter their experience and, thereby, help them feel less alone and alienated.”

Come Away and Rest

“Alec Motyer in his excellent book Isaiah by the Day comments on the changes that have occurred regarding the Sabbath: ‘Very different from our day when the world – and how many Christians? – have devised a week ending with two Saturdays and a ‘Lord’s Day’ observed between 10.30 am and 12.00 noon.’”

Flashback: Before You Read Another Book on Marriage

The best and most helpful books on marriage are the ones being lived out by husbands and wives in your family, in your neighborhood, and especially in your church. Read them longer and more thoroughly than any other.

When saints sin, they know they are not sinning against law but against love. —Martyn Lloyd-Jones