Just for Starters

Have you ever seen someone become a Christian and found yourself wondering how you can best serve him as he grows in his new-found faith? It’s something I’ve wondered often. “Now that he’s a Christian, what can I give him to help him learn the basics?” In those early days a person is best-served by having a Christian come alongside him, so the kind of resource that can be done one-on-one is especially valuable. Matthias Media offers a very good …

Church History Surveys

I have always enjoyed studying history and, over the years, have read several church history texts. One thing I’ve noticed just about every time is that many of these church histories fail to make real distinctions between true gospel-centered Christianity and a kind of inculturated or tradition-based Christianity. That has always been disappointing to me. I suppose I am looking for a history of the true church, of true Christianity, not just a history of what calls itself the church …

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5 Great Books on the Will of God

Earlier today I posted an article dealing with one of the popular misconceptions people have with knowing the will of God or hearing the voice of God as it pertains to guidance. This is an area in which there is a lot of misunderstanding among Christians. Thankfully there are all kinds of great books written on the subject. I highly recommend that every Christian try at least one of them (and particularly so if your understanding in this area has …

Canadian Candy is Better

A couple of days ago I was sorting through the bag of Halloween candy, teaching my children a little lesson about taxation. As I did so, it dawned on me how much of the candy they received is distinctly Canadian; there is a surprising amount that simply is not available south of the border. And I feel bad for my American friends. Seriously, what is Halloween without Smarties (Canadian Smarties, mind you, not those American candies you call Smarties), without …

Enjoy Messiah this Christmas

This morning I let you know about a new book that provides background and commentary for Handel’s Messiah. And now I want to encourage you to take in a performance of Messiah this Christmas season. And just to get you started, I’ve done some of the work, at least for those of you who live in a few major cities. Messiah is one of the last distinctly Christian cultural events. Think about it: every year thousands and thousands of people …

4 Great Conferences in 2011

The Christian world certainly suffers from no shortage of conferences. In fact, there are so many that it can be difficult to determine which, if any, to attend. I took a look ahead to 2011 to find a few that look particularly compelling. And here they are: 4 great conferences coming our way in 2011. NEXT NEXT (formerly known as New Attitude) has changed location several times in the past few years and in 2011 it is making the move …

7 Weird Things I’ve Written

I don’t know how I got thinking about this, but the other day I found myself clicking through the blog looking for some of the weirder things I’ve written over the years. I don’t often indulge my strange sense of humor, but every now and again I just can’t resist. From vampires to theo-doping, from Dungeons & Dragons to Joel Osteen, here are some of the more bizarre things I’ve posted to the blog over the years. The Ultimate Christian …

5 Great Books on Prayer

I receive a lot of books in the mail. If I were to go through them and categorize them, I suspect I’d find that one topic stands apart from the rest–prayer. I’d be surprised if any topic receives as much attention as this one. I suppose this shows that we Christians struggle with prayer–that we just aren’t confident that we are praying well, that our prayers are heard. I’ve read quite a few books on the subject and wanted to …

New and Exciting from Zondervan

Last week I spent a day in Grand Rapids and most of that day was taken up with meetings at the head office for Zondervan. As you probably know, Zondervan will be publishing my next couple of books, so we had a series of meetings to discuss, among other things, marketing plans (that’s right–we met to figure out how we can force you to part with a few of your dollars and hand it to us!). We also shot a …

Opening Up

I love Bible commentaries and must own a couple hundred of them by now. This may be a bit of an irrational love since I am not a preacher and am only rarely asked to preach. Still, while growing a collection has involved some effort and some expense, there have been many occasions when I’ve been grateful to have them available to me whether that’s in preparing a conference talk or in writing a book or even in preparing the …