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  • Are We Performing or Are We Participating

    Are We Performing or Are We Participating?

    With due respect to my Reformed Presbyterian friends, I think it’s difficult to make the argument that singing in the local church must not be accompanied by instrumentation. But with due respect to everyone else, I think it’s equally difficult to make the argument that singing in the local church must be accompanied by instrumentation.…

  • I Miss the Ordinary the Most

    I Miss the Ordinary the Most

    Recent conversations with other Christians have shown that I’m not alone in carrying an unusual level of stress, fear, and anxiety. These are uncertain days and many of us are struggling through them in various ways. Some are feeling this struggle as a heavy emotional weight, some are feeling it as despondency or listlessness, some…

  • Do You Have Ears to Hear

    This week the blog is sponsored by Dwell and written by Jeff McFadden. As I write this it’s mid-July, which means that, for many of us, it’s been 5 or 6 months since we fell off the wagon of the annual I’m-going-to-read-the-Bible-in-a-year train. The new year’s hope and optimism was knocked aside in the busyness…

  • sermon

    What Makes a Sermon Difficult To Listen To

    I am closing in on my forty-third birthday and have been a churchgoer all my life. A bit of simple math shows that I’ve probably listened to somewhere around 4,000 sermons over the course of my life (which undoubtedly means I should have far more knowledge of the Bible than I do and should be…

  • The Key To Making the Most Out of Congregational Singing

    It’s good to go to a conference or a concert and to sing with hundreds or even thousands of strangers. There is something majestic and soul-stirring about gathering with other believers and using the common language of song to join together in worship. But I believe it’s far better still to go to a local…

  • We Don’t Sing for Fun

    One of the trends that has swept our society through the past decades is the “funification” of pretty much everything. We have been told and become convinced that everything ought to be fun. I can’t think of a better example than in schools where the rote memorization that was once considered essential to learning was…

  • A Few Humble Suggestions for Reformed Worship Services

    As Christians, we set aside the first day of each week as a day of worship. We gather together as communities to worship God through what we call “church services.” One of the struggles we may encounter is related to doing roughly the same thing in the same way week after week. We may begin…

  • thursday

    A La Carte (July 12)

    As usual, there are a few Kindle deals for those looking for a little summer reading. (Yesterday on the blog: Are You Living Worthy of the Gospel?) Women, Don’t Be Weak-Minded Glenna Marshall: “No, the colorful book jackets and podcast logos of today’s Christian pop-culture don’t often bring up terms as antiquated and demoralizing as…

  • Friends to Christ Strangers To His Church

    Friends to Christ, Strangers To His Church

    It’s remarkable how often the Bible describes the Christian life as a shared life. We become Christians through a personal commitment to Christ, then immediately bind ourselves in a corporate commitment to Christ’s people. There are so many biblical commands we can fulfill and examples we can imitate only if we are involved in one…

  • A Church with Great Music

    A Church with Great Music

    I heard someone say it recently: “The music at that church is great.” It didn’t take me long to understand what he meant—that the church has a great music program. They have a band composed of talented musicians who play and sing with skill and beauty. To be part of that church is to benefit…

  • Three Surprising Ways Bible Reading with My Kids Has Changed Me

    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…

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

    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…

  • Letters to the Editor

    Letters to the Editor (Hymnals and Tributes to Mom)

    I continue to receive Letters to the Editor that cover a variety of subjects. Today, though, I’m narrowing it down to two: what we gained and lost when we moved from hymnals to PowerPoint and tributes to godly moms. Tributes to Moms (based on Will You Write a Mother’s Day Tribute?) There are at least…

  • Why I Did Not Sing When I Visited Your Church

    Why I Didn’t Sing When I Visited Your Church

    It was a joy to finally visit your church a couple of Sundays ago, and to worship with the believers there. You know I’ve been looking forward to it for a long time. Just as you promised, the pastor is an excellent communicator and a man who loves God’s Word. His sermon was deeply challenging…

  • Final Call

    Final Call

    Welcome to Final Call, a brief, hand-picked selection of news, articles, videos, and curiosities from the Internet and beyond. Mini-Review: A Time for Confidence It is clear that we are living at a time of seismic societal change. Things we recently considered the highest good are now considered the greatest evil; things we used to…

  • tuesday

    A La Carte (July 12)

    As you read this, I should just be touching down in London as I make my way to Oxford. I will be there for a week to participate in a writing workshop led by Douglas Bond. I have never done anything like this before and am very excited for the opportunity to engage in some…

  • Sponsored Collection cover image

    Why I Sing Psalms

    This sponsored post was prepared by Rosaria Butterfield on behalf of Crown and Covenant. I came to Christ with more bad habits than good, and the Lord’s sanctifying touch at first left me lonely and out of sorts. Frankensteinian. An amputee. Despised by my girlfriend but beloved by my God. As a postmodern professor, I…

  • 3 Errors of Musical Style that Stifle Community

    It is ironic that music, an element meant to draw Christians together in mutual love and service (see Colossians 3:16) has become a force for significant division within the church. It just goes to show, I guess, that we can make a mess of pretty much anything. In their book The Compelling Community, Mark Dever…

  • The Tone Deaf Singer

    The prosperity gospel has not produced a new generation of great Christian hymns. Neither have Positive Thinking or Progressive Christianity. There is a reason we would not expect them to. The fact is, the deepest songs come from the deepest truth. The most faithful songs come from the most faithful expressions of the Christian faith.…