Got Seven and a Half Minutes?

November 24, 2014

This is an old video from Piper. I think it is worth listening to several times every year.


March 11, 2014

The movie The Son of God is out. June alerted me to a critique from Answers in Genesis. It is helpful. Also, Tim Challies discussed the movie a few weeks ago. Often movies of this genre (e.g. The Passion of the Christ) create quite a stir for believers but seldom, if ever, really deliver.

Doug Wilson in Ukraine Your Neck, But Still Can’t See weighs in on what is happening in Crimea. As always, he is informative and entertaining (note the title).

Jessica Thomson writes about proclaiming the Good News to our children. Our children need both law and gospel.

Finally, what is the street value of the sovereignty of God? What difference should it make in my life. John Piper answers this question …


December 3, 2013

B003D0TAM8.01._SX490_SCLZZZZZZZ_V190274968_There is lots of good stuff to pass on this morning:

You might have heard about Kirsten Powers conversion to Christianity. Here is an interview with her concerning her journey to faith.

Also, you might have heard recently of the new pastor who dressed as a homeless man the first Sunday at his new church. Supposedly, he wasn’t treated well by the people in the church. As you might have guessed, this whole thing is a hoax.

Bowman is a small church. Here is an encouragement about what small churches can do.

You might have heard, Rick Warren has a new diet book out. As might be expected, the reviews are starting to emerge. Challies seems to give it a marginal thumbs up, while Riddlebarger asks why Rick should be telling us to eat kale. His dander is definitely up.

If you like thinking about the interface between science and scripture (or if you have children who do), then you might pick up “A Reformed Approach to Science and Scripture.” It is free today for Kindle. Also, “Marriage Matters: Extraordinary Change Through Ordinary Moments” is free for Nook and Kindle. Both of these books look valuable.

I remember reading as a freshman in high school these words: “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him, in love having predestinated us unto the adoption of sons by jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will” (Eph 1:4-5). This sentence from that moment has shaped the contours of my theology. Being a simple guy, I took the sentence at face value. It made sense to me. I’m in the family of God SIMPLY because God chose me; not because I chose him. Given the fact that I was born a spiritual corpse, it made sense to me that God raised me from the dead. Like with Lazarus, he gave me spiritual life and enabled me to believe. Thus God gets all the glory. Granted, I believed, but it was only because of God’s prior work of regeneration. God didn’t saved me against my will. He graciously changed my will by giving me spiritual life. Because of regeneration, I now run to God, not away from him. The Lord is my salvation. He didn’t merely make salvation possible, he actually saved me. Again, to God be the glory. Chloe alerted me to the video below. Given my Calvinistic bent, I so appreciate this poem by John Piper:


October 29, 2013

B003D0TAM8.01._SX490_SCLZZZZZZZ_V190274968_In a grace focused environment it is important to remember that we best help our children understand grace in light of the law. John Piper encourages parents to require obedience of their children.

Last week I posted a link to Tim Challies detailing 18 things he will not regret doing with his children. This week he highlights 18 things he will not regret doing with his wife. Good encouragement.

Here is an interesting piece by Halee Gray Scott, critiquing the way women’s ministry is typically run in evangelicalism. From my inexperienced position, it seems that what she says is important.

Do you ever read the Old Testament and wonder how to apply it? Eric Ortlund offers some helpful tips in his piece, A Very Brief Guide to Reading the Old Testament Devotionally.

Finally, “Christ-Centered Preaching and Teaching” is free in several formats.


February 13, 2013

B003D0TAM8.01._SX490_SCLZZZZZZZ_V190274968_Why Holiness Matters: We’ve Lost Our Way–But We Can Find it Again is free for Nook and Kindle. I haven’t read the book but it looks interesting.

J. D. Greer writes about how to have communion with the Spirit. I appreciate what he writes.

Last Wednesday flying back from Lynchburg, in the providence of God, Hannah ended up in a seat next to a young man with passionate Arminian leanings. Listening to Hannah replay the conversation I was again reminded of how the Arminian viewpoint is logic-driven, not scripture-driven. Hannah kept reminding him of what the Word says. He would respond with his human reasoning. John Piper echoes the same thought. Here is the first paragraph:

It is a great irony to me that Calvinists are stereotyped as logic-driven. For forty years my experience has been the opposite. The Calvinists I have known (English Puritans, Edwards, Newton, Spurgeon, Packer, Sproul) are not logic driven, but Bible-driven. It’s the challengers who bring their logic to the Bible and nullify text after text. Branches are lopped off by “logic,” not exegesis.


October 29, 2012

Tim Challies grapples with the seduction of our technology. It is no surprise that the issue ultimately is about idolatry. But, not just idolatry in the sense that the new device offers greater functionality, but idolatry because of how these new devices make us feel.

We begin to see that the iPad, the Surface, and all these other gizmos and gadgets, are a matter of the heart, a matter of our relationship with the God who created us.

The Gospel transforms our lives. It not only frees us from the penalty of sin but it also empowers us for selfless love, radical obedience, and cheerful generosity. Jared Wilson explains.

John Piper’s ebook on Martin Luther is available for free in Kindle, Nook, and PDF form.

Here Tullian explores the danger of grace (weird thought, huh?):


September 19, 2012

If you only click one link today, make it this one. It is about how believers often don’t understand that suffering is from God. Be sure to watch the powerful Piper video at the end.

There is a brand new review of the book (Eyes Wide Open) we are reading in our men’s study. The book is so good that I’d recommend it even to those who aren’t part of our study. Here are the opening words of the review:

Eyes Wide Open not only opened my eyes. It also opened my mind and my heart. So enjoyably, that I’ve now read it three times in just over a month.

Speaking of books, The Hour That Changes the World: A Practical Plan for Personal Prayer is free today for Nook and Kindle.

How do you think of Sunday morning worship? I hope for you it is the best hour or so of the week. Here is a perspective I hadn’t thought of before: worship as play. Good thoughts.

Finally, Joe Thorn offers direction about how to pray for your pastor. Personally, I covet your prayers for me. The work God has called me to is way beyond me. I need help not only for ministry but for my life.


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.


July 24, 2012

How do spanking my child and pain in my life relate to each other? Yep, they both relate to discipline. Perhaps our halfhearted discipline of children connects with our view of how God disciplines us? Here is an insightful post by Tony Reinke about the relationship between these two issues.

In this post, Tullian tells us that we often function with a view that is more karmic than Biblical. I think he has a point.

Here are seven tips about sharing Christ with our neighbor. At the end of the day, simply being a neighbor will provide the platform needed to share our dearest truth.

Piper’s ebook “Adoniram Judson: How Few There Are Who Die So Hard!” is free in either format. So is “David Brainerd: May I Never Loiter On My Heavenly Journey!” If you ever have questions about how to get an ebook on your preferred device, don’t hesitate to ask.

Lots of great wisdom here.

Part 1

Part 2