3 Pivotal Questions on the Reformation and the Doctrine of Justification

This sponsored post was prepared by Zondervan Academic and includes material written by Frank James, Douglas Moo, and Peter H. Davids for Zondervan Academic Online Courses. One of the decisive doctrines to emerge from the Protestant Reformation—and central to Luther’s theology—was the doctrine of justification by faith alone (sola fide). How did Luther come to understand justification? What, according to Romans, does it mean to be justified? And how are we to read Luther’s understanding of Paul alongside the book …

Six Encouragements to Holiness from Together for the Gospel

This sponsored post was provided by Together for the Gospel. Together for the Gospel (T4G) is a biennial three day gathering that encourages pastors and church leaders to stand together for the gospel.  Registration is now open for T4G 2018, scheduled for April 11-13, in Louisville, KY. Speakers include: Albert Mohler John Piper Mark Dever Kevin DeYoung Matt Chandler CJ Mahaney Thabiti Anyabwile David Platt Ligon Duncan John MacArthur While there are 10 speakers, T4G 2018 has one theme: Holiness. Why a Conference About Holiness? Our fallen …

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God’s Providence in the Story of the Premium Bible Marketplace

The best crafted Bibles in the world are found at evangelicalbible.com – a company with an unlikely origin. Sky Cline and his wife Mahina moved to the San Francisco Bay area to lead a church plant in one of the most expensive regions in the United States. After moving to the west coast with three small children, Sky’s church stipend wouldn’t cover their monthly house rent where the church would begin to meet. Sky began to work at odd jobs in the bay area in order to make ends meet. As the flock grew, much of the new growth came from people with limited financial means, including immigrants, homeless, addicts, drifters and other low income people. It soon became apparent that a supplemental form of income would be needed to survive in an area where an 800 sq ft home would sell for $600,000.

Born in Slavery, Longing for Freedom

Thomas Johnson was an African-American, born into slavery on a Northern Virginia plantation in the mid-1800s. When he was only ten years old, his mother was sold to another plantation. The one person in his life who brought him a sense of stability and peace was suddenly gone. The separation produced in his soul a bitter hatred for his captors, and an insatiable desire for freedom.

Thomas would spend much of his time in the tobacco fields, toiling away from sun-up to sun-down, experiencing a level of back-breaking labor that is hard to fathom. But on some days, the master of the plantation would allow Thomas to work in the “Big House,” cooking food or serving guests for various parties. On the dining room wall hung a map of the eastern part of the United States. Although he could barely read or write, Thomas memorized the names of the towns from Richmond, Virginia to Washington, DC, with the hopes that he could one day muster the courage to escape from the plantation that kept him in chains.

Knowing God: Discipleship

From the beginning, the G3 Conference has existed for the purpose of encouraging pastors and helping the local church. That same vision remains at the forefront of what we do each January as we assemble for a weekend of preaching, singing, studying, and fellowshipping under the banner of the gospel.

This coming January, the focus of the G3 Conference will be centered on discipleship (English and Spanish tracks available). The theme is: Knowing God — A Biblical Understanding of Discipleship. Discipleship is not one of the things that the church does—it’s what the church does.

Unfortunately, many churches in the evangelical world today have fallen into two very troublesome ditches. The first ditch is called traditionalism and it keeps a church in constant decline because the vision is focused on historical traditions rather than God’s Word. The second ditch is pragmatism and it keeps a church “growing” through additives to God’s Word as opposed to sola Scriptura.

Three Surprising Ways Bible Reading with My Kids Has Changed Me

I’m sure I’m not the only one who finds regular time with my family in the Bible a challenge. There are plenty of distractions and reasons why reading the Bible with my three young kids is hard. But I’m convinced that the best thing I can do for my children is expose them to the Word of God (and ask the Holy Spirit to change their lives). In fact, I was so convinced that I wrote a book on the subject, called Bible Reading With Your Kids.

And as I’ve persevered and tried to make Bible reading with my children a regular habit, I’ve been surprised that God has been using this to change me. While I was convinced it would be beneficial for my children, I never imagined how God would also shape me through this. Here are three ways God is changing me.

From The Seahawks to Seminary

I first met Tyler Sykora when he was part of a discipleship group at Midwestern Seminary I was co-leading with one of our profs. A thoughtful but soft-spoken guy, I was impressed by his easy-going nature and disarmed by his bookish demeanor. I was not surprised to learn that he was assisting Christian George as a Research Assistant in our Spurgeon Library. I now attend the same church as Tyler and his wife Samantha (and their due-any-minute daughter Adeline Rose), and he is one of the residents in the Pastoral Training Center I’m directing there. But one evening during a conversation in my home, I was surprised to learn something new and almost-as-cool-as-the-Spurgeon-Library about Tyler.

Pastor H.B. Charles Hosts The Fourth Annual Cutting It Straight Conference

John MacArthur, Maurice Watson, Mark Dever, Jerry Vines, Charlie Dates, David Helm, Bryan Loritts, George Zemek, David Allen, Derek Thomas, Romell Williams, Terry Anderson and Hensworth Jonas. These are the speakers at the fourth meeting of the Cutting It Straight Expository Preaching Conference in Jacksonville, Florida, September 19-21, 2017.

The goal of this conference is to train, model, and promote expository preaching. There will be plenary lectures about the meaning and importance of expository preaching, practical breakout sessions on the tools and work of Bible exposition, and worship services featuring faithful expositors that know how to cut it straight.

How To Build a Solid Theological Library

After a decade of Bible college, seminary, and ministry, I’d accumulated hundreds of books. Even so, I rarely had the resources I needed to thoroughly understand and teach a passage.

Simply put, my library was big but weak.

I’ve since learned that building a solid theological library doesn’t happen by chance, and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Here are a few things to keep in mind when building your own library of Bible study and theology resources. And if you’re ready to build a well-rounded theological library in an instant, check out Logos 7 Starter. It’s 10% off through July 19.

Charles Spurgeon’s Dangerous Mission

This sponsored post was provided by Christian T. George, Assistant Professor of Historical Theology and Curator, The C.H. Spurgeon Library at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. David once said, “There is only a step between me and death” (1 Samuel 20:3). Charles Spurgeon almost took that step many times. His mother, Eliza, gave birth to sixteen children after Spurgeon was born. Half of them died. Diseases like the plague that shut down Spurgeon’s school in Newmarket could have easily killed the preacher …