A La Carte (September 27)

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Robbers of Assurance? In Defense of the Puritans

Mark Jones pushes back against those who accuse the Puritans of robbing people of assurance. “To make a sweeping claim that basically amounts to warning people that the Puritans are dangerous to the soul (e.g., they rob one of assurance) reveals a stunning ignorance of their theology.”

3 Times You Should Disobey Authority

Jonathan Leeman: “What are the limits to our moral obligation to submit when someone possesses an ostensibly legitimate authority over us, like a parent over a child? Certainly there are limits. Remember, no human authority is absolute. Authority is always relative to the assignment given by the Authority Giver.”

If Sin’s Penalty Is Eternal, Why Isn’t Jesus Still Suffering?

“If the consequences of our sin against a holy God require eternal judgment, why did Christ suffer for no more than 33 years? Shouldn’t his sufferings also be eternal, if that’s what we deserve?” That leads to an interesting answer from John Piper.

Sounding an Alarm on Social Media Evangelism

Emmy Lopez sounds a warning against too freely using social media for evangelistic purposes. After all, no technology is entirely without negative consequences.

When Political Power Is Lost

“The funeral of Queen Elizabeth II in 2022 will be seen as the last great public acknowledgment in the West of a transcendence that limits temporal power. In our secular age, religion is reduced to a privatized experience. The public square declares, ‘No heaven above us and no hell below.’ The Queen’s funeral, replete with the language of temporal power being given by God, threw down a challenge to the rulers of this age: there is a God in heaven.”

My Favorite Pastors

“I can listen to a thousand good sermons, but a sermon can’t keep watch over my soul. A podcast can’t shepherd. Not really. I can be helped, but nothing beats the actual commitment of local pastors in the local church.” I have linked to articles like this many times over the years, but I think it is always a helpful reminder.

Flashback: Thank You, God, That I Am Not Like Other Men

Comparison is the enemy of joy. Though we so readily compare ourselves with others, we discover that this fosters a deep unhappiness. What promises joy actually delivers misery.

It is said that the young must be allowed to sow their “wild oats.” I have noticed that those who sow their wild oats seldom try to raise any other kind of crop. —De Witt Talmage