An Invitation to the Great American Story

It’s not an easy thing to tell the history of a nation. And, in fact, there are many different ways to do so. At least when it comes to the history of Western nations, the past few years seem to have marked a great shift in this regard. When I was young, the history of these nations was usually told in the voice of triumph—what they had done well defined their story while what they had done poorly was mostly …

Mercy for Today

The Bible records many great prayers. Some of the most prominent come in the form of psalms and, of all these, David’s heartbroken, soul-sick prayer of Psalm 51 may be the most haunting. In a desperate bid to cover up a grievous sin, David has committed yet another grievous sin. He has been exposed as nothing less than a murderous adulterer. As he has grappled with his own sin and sinfulness, he has been cut to the quick. And in …

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I Still Do

A wise friend once told me, “No one should write a book about marriage until they’ve been married for twenty years.” Then he reached his twentieth anniversary and amended his rule: “No one should write a book about marriage until they’ve been married for thirty years.” The point is, none of us ever master marriage, because marriage, like the people involved in it, is constantly changing. Yet even though we never master it, there is much we can learn from …

The Gospel According to Satan

Satan is many things. But one fact the Bible makes perfectly clear is that he is a liar. Already by the third chapter of the Bible he has been deceitful (taking a physical form that is not his), he has been deceptive (getting people to question whether God is as good as they had thought), and he has told outright lies (full-out contradicting the words of God). And that’s just in the first three chapters! If Satan is such a …

Piercing Heaven: A Prayer Book You’ll Actually Use

I once met a prominent Christian—a Reformed Baptist theologian, even—who admitted something to me that sounded almost scandalous: He doesn’t care for The Pilgrim’s Progress. He read it as a student, he re-read it as an adult, and it just didn’t do much for him. And with that in view, here’s a confession of my own: I don’t really care for The Valley of Vision, that collection of Puritan prayers collected by Arthur Bennett. There are undoubtedly a few jewels …

Laughing at the Days to Come

A book about suffering is usually born from adversity in the life of the author, and that’s exactly the case with Tessa Thompson’s Laughing at the Days to Come: Facing Present Trials and Future Uncertainties with Gospel Hope. When she was in her mid-teens, she was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis Type 2 (NF2) and began to lose her hearing. Her father had been diagnosed a short time before, so she had been a first-hand witness to his struggles to adjust to …

The Heart of the Preacher

There’s no doubt that the pastor’s calling is unique. It comes with unique blessings and unique challenges. Some of the greatest challenges are related to both preaching and to being a preacher—preaching as the actual task of preparing and delivering a sermon week by week, and being a preacher as the life and character that makes a man worthy of this task. These are the twin subjects of Rick Reed’s new book The Heart of the Preacher. Reed currently serves …

The Creaking on the Stairs

You do meet some interesting people in the Christian world, whether such meetings happen through real-life interactions or whether they happen through books and blogs. When it comes to Mez McConnell, I’ve met him in all of those ways—I have read his books, I have read many of the articles he has written, I have stayed in his home and worshiped in his church, and he has stayed in my home and worshiped in my church. I count him a …

Protecting Your Children From Predators

Few things concern parents more than the thought that a predator may have set his sights on their children. Few fears terrify parents more than that they may fail to protect their children from those who would seek to do them harm. Few things break a parent’s heart like learning that their child has been exposed to something they should not have seen or to something they should not have experienced. In this age, and every age, parents need to …

What Is a Girl Worth?

Rachael Denhollander’s What Is a Girl Worth? is a hard book to read. But it’s also an important book to read. While it tells of the horrendous crimes perpetrated by just one man, it warns that many similar crimes have been and are being perpetrated by a great many other predators. While it focuses largely on one woman’s suffering, it reveals how so many other victims have suffered as a consequence of crimes committed against them. And while it tells …