Robin Williams on Heaven

August 16, 2014

Robin wants laughter in heaven. I don’t think he is too far off. I think there will be laughter in heaven; laughter and joy not from good jokes, but from an incredible, loving God whose plans for history and our lives are audaciously good.

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Destinations

March 10, 2014

B003D0TAM8.01._SX490_SCLZZZZZZZ_V190274968_First, Cold Case Christianity is free for Nook and Kindle. This book is too good to pass up.

Do you ever wonder what to do with Lent? The two links in this post argue for both sides of the issue. If you are curious about the practice, this might be the place to start.

Several Sundays ago, I preached about church membership. As I discussed membership, I also addressed church discipline. This post, thoroughly but briefly, outlines the issue of church membership.

Do you want more of the backstory of what is happening in Ukraine? Here are the Cliffs Notes:

Destinations

September 20, 2013

I appreciate Nancy Guthrie’s piece, Why Do We Say, ‘God Told Me’? Do you want to know God’s will for your life or just the next step? Find the wisdom of God’s word. Don’t listen for inner voices or look for coincidences. She quotes Graeme Goldsworthy in saying:

Every case of special guidance given to individuals in the Bible has to do with that person’s place in the outworking of God’s saving purposes. … There are no instances in the Bible in which God gives special and specific guidance to the ordinary believing Israelite or Christian in the details of their personal existence.

Of all people, Calvinists ought to be the most humble people on the planet. They understand that they are who they are solely by God’s grace. God gave them the insight and willingness to choose him. Ray Ortulund quotes hymn writer John Newton expressing this very truth.

R. C. Sproul asks the question we need to ask ourselves every day. Are you seeking after God?

Remember Lady Jane Grey? Simonetta Carr provides a quick biography. Here is a distillation of Grey’s wisdom: “Live to die, that by death you may enter into eternal life.”

Have you heard about the female holocaust in India? Any guesses as to why there are 37 million more men in India than women? Abortion and infanticide aren’t just an American problem.

I love everything about this song:

I suppose a single rose
Is pretty as it gets
And when the lights go down at night
I love the quietness

I love shy glances, slow romances
And hats that hide a kiss
Lets you and me go back in time
And find the things we missed

When hands were gentle
And words were kind
And love could wait a long long time
And private matters held their hush
And grooms were gallant
And brides would blush

Does it seem a silly dream
Played back in black and white
Pearls and gloves and hymns of love
The lines of wrong and right
Well let’s hush the cynic
For just a minute
And let the dreamers dare
To dream of love that never fails
O won’t you take me there?

When hands were gentle
And words were kind
And love could wait a long long time
And private matters held their hush
And grooms were gallant
And brides would blush

Shut the shutters, power down
Let the world spin back around
To deep respect and no regrets
The dignity of you and me

When hands were gentle
And words were kind
And love could wait a long long time
And private matters held their hush
And grooms were gallant
And brides would blush

Destinations

November 28, 2012

The crusaders often get a bad rap. At least they did when I was in school. Here is a fairly short piece presenting the crusades in a slightly different light. If you like history, this is worth reading.

Rodney Stark and Thomas Madden have argued a revisionist view, that the Crusades were (at least partly) a reaction to Islamic expansionism. This view is omitted by some major treatments of the crusades.

Desiring God has assembled an Advent devotional. It is available here for download in all the ebook formats.

I’ve met solid believers who didn’t want their children reading fiction. These folks always made me feel, shall I say, liberal. I always encouraged my kids to read fiction, everything from Narnia to Anna Karenina. Here N. D. Wilson urges the reading of fiction, especially to children. Amen.

Bible-believing Christians frequently have a deep mistrust of fiction. In particular, they have a deep mistrust of, ahem, magic. This is impossible for me to understand, partly because I was weaned on C. S. Lewis and Tolkien, but more profoundly because I was marinated in Scripture at a very young age (by my parents).

Destinations

November 15, 2012

I have three somewhat related posts this morning. Specifically, they are related to last weeks election. Knowing that many feel the sky is falling, I believe that these three posts will be encouraging.

First, in the “We’ve Been Here Before” category, this post entitled Were the 1960s when it all went wrong? reminds us that history is repeating itself. I think you will be encouraged by this piece. Here’s a quote that will give you a sense of where the article goes:

By Finke and Stark’s math, American church membership has steadily risen from 1776 to the 21st Century, with current rates approximately triple what they were in the days of the founding fathers.

Importantly, Mike Leake cautions against ungodly fear. Who is in control of all this anyway?

I care little about a discussion on Obama, Romney, or any third-party candidate. What I do care about are those professing to be believers being swept up in worldly fear.

Finally, Ray Ortlund encourages his readers to work towards a gospel culture. Isn’t the gospel America’s only real hope?

If we want this culture to thrive, we can’t take doctrinal short cuts. If we want this doctrine to be credible, we can’t disregard the culture. Churches where the doctrines of grace create a culture of grace bear living witness to the power of Jesus. I think of it very simply like this:

Gospel doctrine – gospel culture = hypocrisy
Gospel culture – gospel doctrine = fragility
Gospel doctrine + gospel culture = powerIf we want our churches to compel the attention of our mission field — and, of course, we do — then, brothers, build a gospel culture! Don’t settle for preaching the truth only. Build a relational ethos that feels like the gospel. It’s powerful.

11 Years ago today:

Destinations

August 22, 2012

Every now and then we’ll here about the three-fold use of the law. Here Nathan Bingham unpacks the idea.

It can be a challenge trying to grasp the ebb and flow of the church in the New Testament. When did John write Revelation? When was Stephen martyred? Here is a very helpful graphic that maps the sequence of the New Testament.

As most of you know, I appreciate a good catechism. They helpfully remind us of essential truth. At the same time, they are exquisite tools for discipling and rearing children. Here you can download John Piper’s iteration of the 1677 Baptist Catechism. Actually, it is the 1677 catechism with Piper’s commentary.

Like most of us, I hate being wrong. You’d think by now I be used to it. Anyway, Kevin DeYoung reminds us of ten things we often get wrong in the church. For example it is Psalm 23, not Psalms 23. BTW, #10 described me until Ora graciously corrected me one day.

Finally, Francis Schaeffer’s “Art and the Bible” is $1.99 in the Kindle format. Also, Sproul’s “Knowing Scripture” is $2.99 in the Kindle format. Sorry Nookers, no deal for you.