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The Best of January

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I’ve been at this blogging thing for quite a long time now–a bit over 9 years. I’ve been at the daily blogging thing for almost as long. This means that I’ve got an extensive backlist of articles from years gone by. I thought it might be fun to pull out some of the articles I wrote in previous Januarys, stretching all the way back to 2004.


Whose Wife Are You? – “We spend a lot of time talking in general about how men and women complement one another—generic men and generic women. This complementarity is obvious from a physical standpoint, but also from many others. But I wonder if we spend far too little time talking about how this husband and this wife complement one another. When we move beyond the generalities of gender roles, we find that the specifics may look very, very different from one couple to another.”

In the Hands of the Communists – This is a two-part biographical article I wrote on the lives of missionary martyrs John and Betty Stam.


Letters to Luke – The third and final letter in a series of blog posts I exchanged with a popular atheist blogger. I wrapped up the series by pleading with him to turn to the Lord.


On Being Weak – Sometimes we are too proud to admit that we are weak; we would rather help others than accept help ourselves.

Don’t Let Me Lose the Wonder – After a while even the most amazing thing can become mundane. “But oh, how I long for those moments when God gives me that glimpse of just where he has taken me and what he has given me. How I long to know and to believe, to experience afresh, to rejoice in my heart, to marvel, to appreciate, to love, to feel.”


Reflections From a First-Time Author – Written just weeks after the release of my first book, The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment, this article reflects on the process of writing a book.

The Shack – This review of The Shack is easily the most-read article in the history of the blog. I’d be surprised if anything ever overtakes it. I know that many people first learned about my blog when they went looking for a review of The Shack and found this page.


Selfish Prayer – An article on the most selfish kind of prayer–the prayer we don’t ever get to.

Reformed Eye for the Arminian Guy – I don’t quite know what happened here, but somehow I thought I was being funny.


Blessed Are the Underappreciated – “Blessed are the underappreciated.” That’s the theme of this article. It seems like a theme I’d write about today if I thought of it.


My Iniquity I Did Not Hide – Some early thoughts on Protestants and confession. I can’t remember the exact circumstances under which I wrote this. I wish I did.

Successful Evangelism – This was an important article in my spiritual development. At the time I was part of a church that was exceedingly results-oriented and here I tried to grapple with what it means to evanglize successfully.


My Concerns With The Passion of the Christ – One of the first “big” articles on my site was a review of The Passion of the Christ. Before the movie’s release I thought about some of what the movie might mean and what theological challenges it might pose. I had forgotten that I ever wrote this one.

The Bible’s Sufficiency – Another hugely important article in my own life, this one explained my newfound understanding of the Bible’s sufficiency.

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    A La Carte (February 20)

    A La Carte: How hell motivates holiness / The bond of love / How to love our friends in truth, even when it stings / The distorting power of the prosperity gospel / Thinking about plagues / and more.

  • A Difference Making Ministry for Any Christian

    A Difference-Making Ministry for Any Christian

    The experience of preaching is very different from the front than from the back, when facing the congregation than when facing the preacher. The congregation faces one man who is doing his utmost to be engaging, to hold their attention, and to apply truths that will impact their hearts and transform their lives.

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    A La Carte (February 19)

    A La Carte: Courageous pastors or overbearing leaders? / Jesus didn’t diss the poor / 8 qualities of true revival / Why don’t you talk about the sermon? / The idol of competence / The danger of inhospitality / and more.

  • Why Those Who Seem Most Likely to Come, Never Come At All

    Why Those Who Seem Most Likely to Come, Never Come At All

    It is something we have all observed at one time or another and something we have all wondered about. Why is it that those who seem most likely to come to Christ so often reject him? Why is it that those hear the boldest invitations and who have the greatest opportunities so commonly turn away?…

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    Weekend A La Carte (February 17)

    A La Carte: Think you’re immune to adultery? / One of the most hopeful reminders about sanctification / What do we do with dreams and visions? / Have you ever asked your church elders to visit and pray for you? / The neurodivergent believer / Preaching advice for busy pastors / and more.

  • Free Stuff Fridays (Open the Bible)

    This week’s Free Stuff Friday is sponsored by Open the Bible. They encourage you to enter to win a series of books from Open the Bible and Pastor Colin Smith! Included in the giveaway are: For All Who Grieve by Pastor Colin Smith. Written with compassion and understanding, yet honestly facing the difficult questions that…