Friendship and the Grace of God

Most of us are familiar with the term “means of grace.” Means of grace are the ways in which the Holy Spirit works in our lives to lead us into holiness. You might think of them as the “channels” through which sanctifying grace flows from God to his people. Most prominently he does this through Scripture, prayer, and the ordinances of baptism and Lord’s Supper (or, more broadly, through the unique ministry of the local church). But did you know …

Read This First

Every generation of Christians faces the very same challenge: To learn the Bible for themselves and to teach it to those who follow in their footsteps. This task cannot be willed, it cannot be inherited, it cannot be passed down. Rather, each generation must accept afresh the challenge to honor, to know, and to obey the Word of God. Gary Millar’s Read This First is, according to the subtitle, “A Simple Guide to Getting the Most from the Bible.” It …

Become a Patron

Purposeful and Persistent Parenting

I’ve come to the conclusion that Aileen and I parent weirdly. But I’ve also come to the conclusion that so does everyone else. When each of us looks at other parents, there are almost invariably some components of their parenting we would love to imitate, but others that strike us as, well, a little bit weird. This is why it is rare, or perhaps even impossible, to find a parenting book that we would follow completely rather than only partially. …

The Joy of Hearing

There is perhaps no book of the Bible that offers as many interpretive challenges as the book of Revelation. I sometimes debate whether the book is actually perfectly clear while we are pathetically thick or whether the book is extremely difficult to understand because God intended it to be. Either way, though the intent and general message of Revelation is clear enough, the details present a challenge worthy of the most eminent theologian. Speaking of which, Thomas Schreiner has recently …

The Beauty of an Heirloom Bible

I once sat at George Müller’s desk and read James 1:27 from his Bible. I once visited a library that contained artifacts from William Carey’s life and leafed through a Bible that he had owned and studied. I have pondered the color-coded notes in Amy Carmichael’s Bible and have paged through a first-edition King James. Closer to home, my father’s Bible was placed at the front and center of the church during his funeral and I had a special wooden …

Man of Sorrows, King of Glory

Christians are known for being people of the cross—people who rightly focus a great deal of attention on the suffering and death of Jesus Christ. But while the cross stands at the very center of the gospel, it does not stand alone. Rather, it is surrounded, as it were, by the wider context of Jesus’s humiliation and exaltation—by all he did before and after he was crucified. The humiliation and exaltation of Jesus Christ are the twin subjects of Jonty …

Welcoming the Uncomfortable Work of God

Of all the pursuits that come with the Christian life, is any more constant, any more consuming, and any more difficult than the pursuit of humility? Surely nothing cuts harder against the grain of our natural, sinful humanity than to be humble before God and humble before our fellow man. Yet God calls us to display humility. He warns that he opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. So how do we become humble? Or, to say it …

The Gospel and the Pain of Fatherlessness

Sometimes one person’s story can stand in for that of millions. Sometimes one person can explain a situation that affects not only themselves but also countless others. Those of us who were blessed to grow up with fathers who were present, active, and engaged may struggle to understand the particular sorrows and challenges that come to those whose fathers were detached, uninvolved, or perhaps entirely absent. Blair Linne’s Finding My Father: How the Gospel Heals the Pain of Fatherlessness tells …

Responding Wisely to Domestic Abuse in Your Church

There is much that is expected of pastors and church leaders, much for which they have often been inadequately prepared. At various points most will find themselves having to respond to situations that involve domestic abuse. This could be a woman coming to them and pleading for protection from her husband, it could be an allegation coming from a third party who observed something alarming, it could be an abuser confessing sin and seeking reconciliation. Few people know how to …

The Death of Porn

There was a time, and it was not so very long ago, when the Christian world was tragically under-resourced when it came to books confronting pornography and the men who indulge in it. At that time just about any resource was better than nothing if only it would help men make headway against their addiction.* Today, though, we are extremely well-resourced when it comes to such works and a new book must have something unique to offer if it is …