Skip to content ↓

A Reunion of Old Friends

Articles Collection cover image

A dear friend is one of life’s greatest gifts, one of life’s greatest blessings. I can chart so much of my life, my personal growth, through these precious relationships, these precious friendships. So many times these faithful friends have given wisdom at a moment of weakness, help in a time of trial, strength that is not my own.

I sit here in my little office, surrounded by my books, for books are among my dearest friends. David Gentry once said, “True friendship comes when the silence between two people is comfortable.” Few things are more comfortable, more enjoyable, than sitting among these friends. It is like a party for introverts, where no one has to say a word and there is not a single moment of awkwardness. The silence is beautiful.

I sit here and I survey my friends, counting my blessings.

Two of my first friends were Ashamed of the Gospel and Whatever Happened to the Gospel of Grace?. Both came into my life on the very same day. The first challenged me, calling me away from a church where the gospel was minimized and to a church where the gospel was right at the very center. The second challenged me to recover those great doctrines of the Reformation I had once held dear but had begun to forget.

Lenski said, “It is the best and truest friend who honestly tells us the truth about ourselves even when he knows we shall not like it.” One of my closest friends, The Holiness of God, loved me enough to level with me and tell me I had far too low a view of God. He encouraged me to see God as so much bigger and higher and brighter. I have spent many afternoons in his company, learning, growing, being challenged anew.

I glance over and see my friend The Cross of Christ, who caused me to see the darkness of my sin against the light of the cross. Nearby is the steadiest of my friends, Systematic Theology, which time and time again has strengthened me, has given me boundaries, has helped me better understand myself and my God. Nearby are my church historian friends who remind me that no experience I face is new, but each trial, each temptation, each struggle, has faced Christians before.

Then I spot The Call, the first book I ever read with a group of fellow Christians, meeting together each week, well before the sun came up, to discuss and apply and appreciate. Those were precious times.

Across the room I see commentaries, experts on one book of the Bible or another, friends who have jumped into my life for a time to guide me through a difficult passage or to come alongside me as I’ve prepared a sermon or a whole series of sermons. Their wisdom has been my delight. Faithful God has been a precious companion in these times; so too have been Waltke’s two volumes on Proverbs and Duguid’s Esther & Ruth.

And then there is Overcoming Sin & Temptation and The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment and The Bruised Reed, friends from a different era whose timeless wisdom continues to challenge me. Not far off is Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices, who began as a friend of friends but has now become an intimate in his own right.

Gathered together near the door are new friends, ones I have only just been introduced to, but ones I am certain will be precious soon enough, as soon as we have the opportunity to get to know one another better.

These few precious moments mark a reunion of old friends. I sit back, I enjoy the silence, and savor the company of companions who have changed my life.


  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    Weekend A La Carte (March 2)

    A La Carte: The only way out of our desperate hypocrisy / Are Evangelicals too hard on men? / 9 healthy ways to respond to criticism / Is God disappointed with me? / 4 snapshots of dispensationalism today / Logos and Kindle deals / and more.

  • Free Stuff Fridays (Help The Persecuted)

    This weeks giveaway is sponsored by Help The Persecuted. Help The Persecuted rescues, restores, and rebuilds the lives of persecuted believers in the Islamic World through spiritual support and tangible help. Every week, they send out an email with specific, real-time prayer requests of persecuted believers to their global Prayer Network. You can join the…

  • A La Carte Friday 2

    A La Carte (March 1)

    A La Carte: Rumblings of revival among Gen Z / Addition by subtraction / Seeing red / Burying the talents of the Great Rewarder / Inviting evaluation of your preaching / Book and Kindle deals / and more.

  • New and Notable Books

    New and Notable Christian Books for February 2024

    February is typically a solid month for book releases, and this February was no exception. As the month drew to its close, I sorted through the many (many!) books that came my way this month and arrived at this list of new and notables. In each case, I’ve provided the editorial description to give you…

  • A La Carte Thursday 1

    A La Carte (February 29)

    A La Carte: Is it ever right to lie? / When the “perfect” fit isn’t / An open letter to Christians who doubt / When a baby is a disease / The long view of preaching / and more.

  • A Freak of Nature (and Nurture)

    A Freak of Nature (and Nurture)

    We are probably so accustomed to seeing bonsai trees that we don’t think much about them. But have you ever paused to consider how strange and freakish they really are?