An Early-June Family Update

It occurred to me the other day that it has been almost three months since I shook anyone’s hand—or had any other form of physical contact with any person who is not in my family. And I think the last hand I shook was Paul Washer’s. The last day I was out of the house before everything went into lockdown, he was in town and we spent the afternoon and evening together. The time concluded with me interviewing him as …

COVID-19 and the Future of the Christian Conference

Christians have long valued conferences. In the past few decades, as travel has become easier and less expensive, Christians have valued large national conferences where thousands or tens of thousands gather to worship, learn, and fellowship together. The story of the “New Calvinism” could not possibly be told apart from the rise and impact of these events. Yet conferences were among the early casualties of the COVID-19 pandemic. Together for the Gospel, Ligonier Ministries, The Basics, and other major events …

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Really Bad Reviews of Really Good Books

One of the great benefits of the internet is the way it can give everyone an equal voice. Of course one of the great drawbacks of the internet (for there is no great technological advancement that doesn’t come with both benefits and drawbacks) is the way it can give everyone an equal voice. Nowhere do we see this more clearly than in the realm of reviews. Whether you an expert or an amateur, a friend or a foe, a teacher …

The Safest Place for the Weakest People

It has been a blessing to hear from friends and family across America whose churches are beginning to meet again after the period of forced separation. It has been fascinating (though a little strange) to see photographs of the spaced-out seating, the masks, the deliberate distancing, the omnipresent bottles of hand sanitizer. While I expect it will be some time before we gain the privilege in Ontario, I look forward to the day when we, too, can once again worship …

An End-of-May Family Update

The lockdown (or what should probably be considered a “light lockdown”) in Ontario continues, though we are beginning to see a gradual loosening of the restrictions. As of last week garden centers and other outdoor businesses were able to open, and as of Tuesday all retail outlets, except those in malls, were able to open, provided they hold to social distancing guidelines. Of course, as people in other jurisdictions have noted, the ability to open does not necessarily mean businesses …

Ask Me Anything (Logos, Posting Pictures of Children, Lord’s Supper, Submitting to Government)

I receive lots of feedback from readers of this site, and now and again attempt to answer some of the questions that come my way. Here’s a new batch that offers brief answers to questions on Logos, posting pictures of children to social media, the Great Sermon Series of videos, celebrating the Lord’s Supper online, and submitting to the government. I hope you find them helpful. I wanted your insight about how to start a personal library for preaching. I …

So Very Weak, Yet So Very Proud

It was in early 2020 that we first began to hear of this novel coronavirus that was sweeping through parts of China, then making the short hop to nearby Asian nations, then making the longer hop to not-so-nearby European nations. The reports out of China were alarming, the reports out of South Korea sobering, the reports out of Italy terrifying. Slowly and then all of a sudden it was in our countries, in our towns, at our doorsteps. We are …

An Early May Family Update

I wonder: When I began writing family updates in mid-March, would I have been surprised to learn I’d still be writing them in early May? Would I be surprised to know that we’d remain under similar restrictions? I don’t know. But it seems to me that in that stretch of time so much has changed “out there” and so little has changed “in here.” When we finally emerge from this lockdown, we will be emerging into a very different world. …

Thankful for God’s Good Gift of Government

I was asked the other day what I was thankful for in the midst of a pandemic. My answer surprised even me. “I’m thankful for government.” It was surprising, but true. Even as I sit at home during a long, forced lockdown, even as I wonder whether anyone really has a master plan, even as I scratch my head at some of the measures being enacted, even as I grow in my concern about some of the liberties being curtailed, …

The Right Response to the Old Testament Law

The greater our distance from another culture, the stranger that culture seems. This may be true geographically, but we observe it most commonly when the distance is chronological. The laws and customs of ancient civilizations often strike us as bizarre or unfair. There’s no doubt that sometimes they were. But if we assume that people then, just like people now, were rational beings, we can at least suppose that each law and each custom was arrived at deliberately and was …