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  • The Tricky L of TULIP

    Preaching the Gospel with TULIP’s Tricky “L” in Mind

    It’s a fair question for the Arminian to ask: How can you preach the free offer of the gospel when you believe in a limited atonement? How can you preach the “whosoever” of John 3:16 if you cannot be certain that Christ’s atonement was for every person? How can you say, “Turn to Christ and…

  • Consecutive Exposition Is Not the Only Way

    Consecutive Exposition Is Not the Only Way

    In many ways, the Reformed resurgence of the past couple of decades has been built upon a particular style of preaching. Many Reformed leaders have faithfully practiced and forcefully advocated what we might call “consecutive exposition.” This is the practice of preaching from the beginning of a book of the Bible to the end, then…

  • The Hottest Thing at Church Today

    The Hottest Thing at Church Today

    According to a new study by Gallup, the hottest thing at church today is not the worship and not the pastor. It’s not the smoke and lights and it’s not the hip and relevant youth programs. It’s not even the organic, fair trade coffee at the cafe. The hottest thing at church today is the…

  • Letters to the Editor #13 (Parenting, Bad Preaching, Evening Services)

    With another Sunday, we have another batch of letters to the editor. These letters focus in on just a few of the articles I have posted over the past 2 weeks. Comments on An Unexpected Blessing of Parenting After reading the post, I get it that the picture is probably supposed to show a father…

  • The Man on the Moon

    I have a particular interest in technology and the way human society has been shaped by it. Over the past few years, I have pursued this interest by reading several books and watching several documentary series on the race to the moon. Having been born in 1976, I was too young to witness anything more…

  • Protect Your Church in One Simple Step

    A few days ago I tried to demonstrate how a church self-destructs. There is a sad progression that begins with the people growing weary and ashamed of truth. No longer able or willing to endure sound teaching, they get rid of the truth-tellers and accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions. Inevitably, they…

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    If Preaching Was Like Playing

    I went to the Blue Jay game last week. The Rays were in town and I like to go and cheer/jeer for my buddy Ben who plays for the bad guys. “You stink! And thanks for the tickets!” Don’t mention it to him, but at the end of the game he represented the winning run…and…

  • Looked at Not Looked Through

    To Be Looked Through, Not Looked At

    I wrote last week of Alister McGrath’s new biography of C.S. Lewis (C. S. Lewis – A Life: Eccentric Genius, Reluctant Prophet). Fifty years after his death, Lewis remains a fascinating, prophetic figure and a much-loved author. His insights into the Bible were often very interesting but it is his insights into human nature that…

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    More Lessons Learned Along the Way

    A few months ago I shared a few lessons I’ve learned along the way–a few things I’ve learned about preaching since I rather unexpectedly found myself regularly standing in the pulpit. I learned that preaching can be discouraging, that preachers are fragile, that success in preaching is difficult to measure, and that preaching is a…

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    What I’ve Learned Along the Way

    This is an article about preaching that is meant to be read by non-preachers. I am an unlikely preacher, a guy who was paralyzingly shy through high school and college and into later life who rather suddenly found himself speaking at conferences and preaching at churches. As someone who is rather new to the pulpit,…

  • A Word to Those Who Preach the Word

    It has been a couple of months since I’ve had the privilege of preaching, and I am looking forward to stepping into the pulpit again a couple of weeks from now. It is always a joy and always a weighty responsibility. In reading Kent Hughes’ commentary on Isaiah I was challenged by his “Word to…

  • The State of Preaching

    I don’t often read The Southern Seminary Magazine but recently I came across some notes I had taken on an article from all the way back in 2006. In the “President’s Journal,” Al Mohler wrote a brief commentary on “The State of Preaching Today.” He wrote “On the one hand, there are signs of great…

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    The Freedom and the Burden

    I think I knew more about preaching before I began to preach. At least I was more sure of the things I was sure of. Now that I preach on a regular basis I have a better assessment of how little I really know about the art or science or whatever it is of preaching…

  • On Doing Ordinary Things

    It has come as kind of a shock to me, now that I am a pastor and preaching on a regular basis, that the vast majority of the sermons I preach will be rather ordinary. I will study hard and pray hard and work hard, I’ll get started early in the week and give it…

  • The Divine in Preaching

    I’ve always found the word unction to be a bit of a strange one. I see it as a part of the Christian lexicon since, in my experience, we are pretty much the only ones who use it. We typically use it in prayer, asking that God would give unction to a man who is…

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    A La Carte (3/7)

    Yesterday at church I was asked for a recommendation for a book on guidance. So I went to my office and pulled down Decisions, Decisions by Dave Swavely–still my favorite on the subject. I cracked it open and out fell a small gold coin dated 1791. Weird. Saving Faith – Monergism Books is offering a…

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    A La Carte (10/25)

    I was sitting in Grand Rapids airport on Saturday morning, about to catch a flight to Cleveland (and from Cleveland I’d catch a second flight to Toronto). It struck me as a little bit cruel that at the time there were two flights leaving from my gate–one going to Cleveland (for which I had a…

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    A La Carte (5/17)

    Introducing Hymns – James Grant offers some sound advice on introducing old hymns to a congregation. Practical Shepherding – Brian Croft has done a great job of carving himself an important little niche in the blogosphere as he deals with issues related to the practical aspect of pastoring. In his most recent article he writes…

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    A La Carte (3/29)

    The Pastor’s Worst Enemy – Here’s a very good word from David Murray about the greatest enemy a pastor will face in his ministry. John Piper’s Leave – John Piper just announced that he will be taking a lengthy leave of absence. “I asked the elders to consider this leave because of a growing sense…

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    A La Carte (3/16)

    Digital Etiquette“This is a friendly call for creators of MP3’s to follow some very simple guidelines that will make end users lives easier, and be a testimony to the messages we preach & teach. If you value the material you post publicly on the Internet, please demonstrate it’s value by following these 3 very simple…