The Essential: Atonement

This is the thirteenth installment in a series on theological terms. See previous posts on the terms theology, Trinity, creation, man, Fall, common grace, sin, righteousness, faith, pride, election, and revelation. Stated simply, atonement refers to the act by which someone or something is cleansed from sin. The concept is first introduced in reference to the installation of the priesthood and the consecration of the tabernacle for Israel’s worship (see Exodus 29:35-37). Atonement is then applied to the rest of …

The Days I Need the Gospel Least

Preach the gospel to yourself! Preach the gospel to yourself every day! I think we are all growing accustomed to being told that Christians need to center their lives upon the gospel and that one of the keys to doing this is to be continually reminded of what is true by preaching the gospel to ourselves every day. I’ve been hearing this for years now and to varying degrees have been practicing it. However, just last week I had a …

Become a Patron

A Convenient and Relaxing Kind of Christianity

Loving God is not as simple as we sometimes think. Christians are fond of reminding one another that in a biblical sense love is a verb, not just feeling but action. This is true, but there is far more to it than that. Jerry Bridges came to this realization and began to reflect on the command to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” In The Discipline of …

Preach the Gospel to Yourself

Jerry Bridges was talking about preaching the gospel to yourself and being gospel-centered long before it was cool to do so. One of the great burdens of his ministry has long been to have Christians understand that “the gospel is not only the most important message in all of history; it is the only essential message in all of history. Yet we allow thousands of professing Christians to live their entire lives without clearly understanding it and experiencing the joy …

How Good Is Good Enough?

For several years now I have been leading a program called “Reading Classics Together.” The program exists so that we can read classic Christian books in community because, well, just about everything is better in community. Today we begin reading Jerry Bridges’ The Discipline of Grace. What I try to do in these weekly wrap-up posts is share just a couple of the important points that are at the heart of the chapter. If you’d like to read along with …

Is Your Gospel Big Enough?

There are not too many stories from the life of Jesus that made their way into all four of the biblical accounts of his life. Each of the authors writes for a different purpose or to a different audience and this leads them to different emphases. Yet one of the stories that each of them tells is Peter’s denial of Jesus. Peter’s darkest moment, his greatest shame, was included by all four of the gospel writers. Isn’t it interesting that …

Thinking Wrongly About Money

Throughout this fall I have been able to spend some time teaching my church about money. One of the first challenges I faced was in distinguishing between what the Bible teaches about money and what we, as Christians living in this time and this place, tend to believe. What I found is that there are many ways that we think about money that owes more to the world than to the Bible. Let me share 4 of them. Debt We live …

From the Garden to the Cross

I know that it is bad form to turn a sermon into a blog post, but I’m going to do it anyway (hey, it’s my blog!). Yesterday I preached from Genesis 3 and found great joy in going from the garden to the cross. There are lots of ways we can do this, but I chose to do it through the cherubim. Can I ask you to read along? I think you’ll find this a real encouragement. By the end …

The Only Way and Our Only Hope

A couple of months ago Crossway released Don’t Call it a Comeback: The Old Faith for a New Day. I contributed a chapter to that book titled “Jesus Christ: The Only Way and Our Only Hope.” This chapter deals with religious pluralism, inclusivism and exlusivism, all words and terms that have become hot topics because of Rob Bell’s book Love Wins (my review). Crossway has excerpted that chapter and made it available to you as a free PDF. You can …

Living Gospel-Centered

A short time ago a reader of this blog wrote me with rather an interesting question. Here’s what he asked: I was hoping for some guidance on something. I am looking for books about being ‘Gospel-Centered.’ I know that is a buzzword nowadays and it is really intriguing to me. I am a long-time Christian, but am new to this Gospel-Centered idea. Don’t get me wrong, I love Jesus and Scripture and the Gospel, but I’ve never really heard or …