I've enjoyed getting to know Tullian a bit over the last couple of years, and I'm looking forward to reading his new book, Glorious Ruin. He was on Fox & Friends talking about it...
I've enjoyed getting to know Tullian a bit over the last couple of years, and I'm looking forward to reading his new book, Glorious Ruin. He was on Fox & Friends talking about it...
No idea how long this will last. But I own the physical copy & multiple other copies to give away (and use for marriage counseling). And I still bought this for Kindle. You should too. This may be the most important book written on marriage (or that will be written on marriage) for years to come.
Grab it, and tell others!
I'm picking up A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life right now. A massive (1,200 pages) work, just released, and 1/2 off the price of Amazon. More...
A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life offers a groundbreaking treatment of the Puritans teaching on most major Reformed doctrines, particularly those doctrines in which the Puritans made significant contributions. Since the late 1950s, nearly 150 Puritan authors and 700 Puritan titles have been reprinted and catalogued by Joel Beeke and Randall Pederson in their 2006 collection of mini-biographies and book reviews, titled, Meet the Puritans. However, no work until now has gathered together the threads of their teaching into a unified tapestry of systematic theology.
A Puritan Theology, by Joel Beeke and Mark Jones, attempts to do that. The book addresses Puritan teachings on all six loci of theology, covering fifty areas of doctrine. The book explores Puritan teachings on biblical interpretation, God, predestination, providence, angels, sin, the covenants, the gospel, Christ, preparation for conversion, regeneration, coming to Christ, justification, adoption, church government, the Sabbath, preaching, baptism, heaven, hell, and many other topics. It ends with eight chapters that explore Puritan theology in practice. Some chapters highlight the work of a specific theologian such as William Perkins, William Ames, John Owen, Stephen Charnock, or Thomas Goodwin on a specific topic. Other chapters survey various authors on a particular subject.
I'm very excited to read the new book from Tullian Tchividjian, Glorious Ruin: How Suffering Sets You Free. Check it out...
In this world, one thing is certain: Everybody hurts. Suffering may take the form of tragedy, heartbreak, or addiction. Or it could be something more mundane (but no less real) like resentment, loneliness, or disappointment. But there’s unfortunately no such thing as a painless life. In Glorious Ruin, Tullian Tchividjian takes an honest and refreshing look at the reality of suffering, the ways we tie ourselves in knots trying to deal with it, and the comfort that the gospel brings for those who can’t seem to fix themselves—or others.
This is not so much a book about Why God allows suffering or even How we should approach suffering—it is a book about the tremendously liberating and gloriously counterintuitive truth of a God who suffers with you and for you. It is a book, in other words, about the kind of hope that takes the shape of a cross.
This looks great. Go grab it!
UPDATE: Winners listed in the comments as...
In Center Church, Timothy Keller offers challenging insights and provocative questions based on over twenty years of ministry in New York City. This book outlines a theological vision for ministry—based on classic doctrines but rethinking our assumptions about church for our time and place—organized around three core commitments:
Gospel-centered: The gospel of grace in Jesus Christ changes everything, from our hearts to our community to the world. It completely reshapes the content, tone and strategy of all that we do.
City-centered: Cities increasingly influence our global culture and affect the way we do ministry. With a positive approach toward our culture, we learn to affirm that cities are wonderful, strategic and underserved places for gospel ministry.
Movement-centered: Instead of building our own tribe, we seek the prosperity and peace of our community as we are led by the Holy Spirit.
I'm telling you, if you haven't seen this book it is a sight to see. Big and packed! It will be a staple in seminaries and church planting training programs. "Awesome" is the word for it. Great for reading through or at least having for refererence.
I asked the good folks at Zondervan several weeks ago if they could provide some giveaway copies of Center Church because I want readers of my Tim Keller Resources page to have a chance to win one. They gave me three! Thanks Zondervan!
Here's how you enter for your chance to win. Simple.
1. Tweet (or post to Facebook if you aren't on Twitter, or do both!) without the quote marks: " Want a free copy of Tim Keller's Center Church? RT this & comment at Reformissionary to enter: http://bit.ly/TKbook "
2. Comment below (so I can confirm you did step 1) with your real name and real email (kept private) and For Fun guess the number of writing utensils on my desk right now (pens, pencils, markers, etc. Hint: I have two coffee mugs for writing utensils plus more than that. It's more than 1 and less than 100.
*I'll use random.org to pick the 3 winners sometime after 5pm. I'll announce the winners on the blog & send out emails. May the odds be ever in your favor!
Unless there is God. If the God of the Bible exists, and there is a True Reality beneath and behind this one, and this life is not the only life, then every good endeavor, even the simplest ones, pursued in response to God’s calling, can matter forever. That is what the Christian faith promises.
Dating my wife has taken a more creative turn over the last few years, after my wife had two brain surgeries, after she started wanting to sleep before the sun goes down (which she didn't struggle with before Chiari). We've had to be creative, and we haven't kept at it as we used to. It's not easy. Kids getting older, life keeps getting busier. But we realize how important it is to keep dating.
Lee Gatiss has edited George Whitefield's original 57 published sermons into two large volumes (976 pgs, Crossway). You can get the hardcover set for $40+ from WTS or $33+ from Amazon...OR $9.99 FOR KINDLE! That's a deal! From Crossway...
Gatiss includes careful and extensive footnotes detailing the historical and theological background to Whitefield’s preaching, which puts the man and his messages into context for a new generation of readers. The text has also been updated for the twenty-first century with modern grammar, spelling, and punctuation - revised in a manner that leaves Whitefield’s distinct voice intact and coherent for today’s reader.
From J.C. Ryle's "George Whitefield & His Ministry" as a brief bio in the front of Select Sermons of George Whitefield (also found here), we get a picture of his open-air preaching and the church culture that pushed him toward it (bold in the text is mine)...
Two months after this Whitefield began the practice of open-air preaching in London, on April 27, 1739. The circumstances under which this happened were curious. He had gone to Islington to preach for the vicar, his friend Mr. Stonehouse. In the midst of the prayer the churchwardens came to him and demanded his licence for preaching in the diocese of London. Whitefield, of course, had not got this licence any more than any clergyman not regularly officiating in the diocese has at this day. The upshot of the matter was, that being forbidden by the churchwardens to preach in the pulpit, he went outside after the communion-service, and preached in the churchyard. ‘And,’ says he, ‘God was pleased to assist me in preaching, and so wonderfully to affect the hearers, that I believe we could have gone singing hymns to prison. Let not the adversaries say, I have thrust myself out of their synagogues. No; they have thrust me out.’
From that day forward he became a constant field-preacher, whenever weather and the season of the year made it possible. Two days afterwards on Sunday, April 29th, he records: ‘I preached in Moorfields to an exceeding great multitude. Being weakened by my morning’s preaching, I refreshed myself in the afternoon by a little sleep, and at five went and preached at Kennington Common, about two miles from London, when no less that thirty thousand people were supposed to be present.’ Henceforth, wherever there were large open spaces round London, wherever there were large bands of idle, godless, Sabbath-breaking people gathered together, in Hackney Fields, Mary-le-bonne Fields, May Fair, Smithfield, Blackheath, Moorfields, and Kennington Common, there went Whitefield and lifted up his voice for Christ.
FOOTNOTE: The reader will remember that all this happened when London was comparatively a small place. Most of the open places where Whitefield preached are now covered with buildings. Kennington Oval and Blackheath alone remain open at this day.
The gospel so proclaimed was listened to and greedily received by hundreds who never dreamed of going to a place of worship. The cause of pure religion was advanced, and souls were plucked from the hand of Satan, like brands from the burning. But it was going much too fast for the Church of those days. The clergy, with a few honourable exceptions, refused entirely to countenance this strange preacher. In the true spirit of the dog in the manger, they neither liked to go after the semi-heathen masses of population themselves, nor liked any one else to do the work for them. The consequence was, that the ministrations of Whitefield in the pulpits of the Church of England from this time almost entirely ceased. He loved the Church in which he had been ordained; he gloried in her Articles; he used her Prayer-book with pleasure. But the Church did not love him, and so lost the use of his services. The plain truth is, that the Church of England of that day was not ready for a man like Whitefield. The Church was too much asleep to understand him, and was vexed at a man who would not keep still and let the devil alone.
I'm very excited to have Center Church by Dr. Timothy Keller in my library. It's nearly 400 pages and is packed full of good stuff. It's hard to describe how "packed full" it is until you see it. You can see pieces of it here...
Check out some of the praise it's receiving...
I'm not exaggerating when I say that Center Church is my favorite book Tim Keller has written thus far.
- Scotty Smith, Christ Community Church
This is not simply curriculum content; it is exactly the kind of life-giving, generative gospel theology our churches need.
- Stephen Um, CityLife Presbyterian Church, Boston
This book will help you if you are serious about seeing your city transformed by the gospel of grace.
- Darrin Patrick, Vice President of the Acts 29 Network
In Center Church, one of the great missionary statesmen of our times lays out a vision of the church vigorous enough to transform entire cities through its agency of the gospel.
- Alan Hirsch, Founding Director of Forge Mission Training Network
Watch this video. Note that Keller says, "Things that work in cities often we find work outside of cities as well." This is more than a book for city-center church planting, and as I have said several times, the best books on the church (regardless of where you are located) are urban church books.
Five $2 Tuesdays deals at The Good Book Company...
The Lord Jesus saw a vast harvest waiting to be gathered in but hardly any workers to do the job. So he issued an instruction to his followers: 'Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field' (Matthew 9:38).
That command still applies today. Although 2000 years of Christian witness have past, there are still millions in our world who have never even heard the name of Christ. Even in countries where many profess to be Christians there is great ignorance, and a spiritual great hunger - which only the Gospel of Christ can answer.
This book is an attempt to describe the nature of gospel ministry and to answer the questions that those who are considering it may have. The aim is not to persuade everyone that they should give up their present jobs and offer themselves as workers to churches and missionary organizations. We all have different gifts. But we should all be asking ourselves this question: 'What is it that I could do that would most bring glory to God through the spread of the gospel?' For some that will mean staying where they are, for others it will mean a significant change of direction.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Go pick up Workers For The Harvest Field or another $2 Tuesdays deal.
- Introduction (Vaughan Roberts)
- Section 1: What is gospel ministry?
- 1. What is Gospel Ministry? (Vaughan Roberts)
- 2. The Character of Gospel Ministry (David Jackman)
- 3. The Priority of Gospel Ministry (Richard Coekin)
- Section 2: Varieties of gospel ministry
- 4. The pastor-teacher (Andy Gemmill)
- 5. The realities of being an evangelist (Roger Carswell)
- 6. Church planters for the harvest field (Tim Chester)
- 7. Gospel ministry overseas (Andy Lines)
- 8. Cross-cultural ministry in the UK (Andrew Raynes)
Some new, some I'm just getting to, but here are some links to check out...
Good Book Company Giveaway: Tim Challies is giving away a bunch of The Good Book Company Bible study guides. Great chance to get theologically solid studies by guys like Tim Chester, Justin Buzzard, and Mark Dever. Also, keep an eye out for $2 Tuesdays from The Good Book Company starting next week!
GCM Conference: Highly recommend the GCM Conference coming up in September in Huntsville. My Soma School experience has me in love with GCM and what it is working to do. Sign up!
Paul Tripp: 6 Traits of a Pastor In Awe of God (get your awe back) | "I counsel you to run now, run quickly, to your Father of awesome glory. Confess the offense of your boredom. Plead for eyes opened to the 360-degree, 24/7 display of glory to which you have been blind. Determine to spend a certain portion of every day in meditating on his glory. Cry out for the help of others. And remind yourself to be thankful for Jesus, who offers you his grace even at those moments when grace isn't nearly as gloriously valuable to you as it should be."
J.I. Packer: Advice to Aspiring Writers - 1. Go deep in personal worship. 2. Write to hit hearts. 3. Write from a sense of calling.
The Gospel Project is worth checking out, if you haven't already. Curriculum for kids, students, and adults. Exciting new resource from Ed Stetzer, Trevin Wax, & LifeWay.
I was very isolated from my laptop on vacation (which lasted 2 weeks), but I did find stuff that looked interesting on my feed reader and my Twitter feed and then saved them for later. Here are a few things that caught my eye...
A few new books worth checking out have found there way into my possession. I hope my readers will check them out...
From Founders Press, Whomever He Wills edited by Matthew Barrett & Tom Nettles. It has some outstanding authors who have written different essays, including a forward by Timothy George.
Here are just a few of the essays I'm looking forward to reading...
2. Total Depravity: A Biblical and Theological Examination by Mark DeVine
8. God’s Sovereignty Over Evil by Stephen J. Wellum
10. John Calvin’s Understanding of the Death of Christ by Thomas J. Nettles
13. The Glorious Impact of Calvinism upon Local Baptist Churches by Tom Hicks
Founders Press has more info. Check it out.
Another book worth checking out is the Mission of God Study Bible (HCSB) edited by Ed Stetzer & Philip Nation. Been looking forward to this for some time, and it looks great. Contributors include good pastors and thinkers like Trevin Wax, Matt Chandler, Joe Thorn, Eric Mason, and Tullian Tchividjian.
Go read 7 reasons why I love the Mission of God Study Bible by Devin Maddox. Here are a couple...
This is a nice addition to the growing group of excellent study Bibles out there.
Jonathan Dodson's new eBook, Unbelievable Gospel, is another one worth checking out. From their website...
Very often we find it difficult to share our faith. In the workplace, neighborhood, or social settings, talking about the gospel doesn’t come up naturally. “Jesus” isn't a topic that hits the neighborhood Google groups, flows naturally on coffee breaks, or crosses our lips in local pubs. But when it does, all too often what we have to say is simply unbelievable. Even the way we share the gospel is often unbelievable. Are there actually good reasons for our hesitation in talking about Jesus? Despite what you might think, there are very good reasons for not talking about the gospel. In Unbelievable Gospel, Jonathan Dodson explores ways we shouldn't share the gospel as well as ways we could, to make the gospel more believable.
I have been asked by a friend about my favorite books on church history, so I thought I would throw it out for everyone. Try to limit to the most expansive books on church history, at least for your first few. If you want to add a couple of faves from certain time periods (reformation, early church, baptist, puritan, etc), feel free to do that as well. But make sure they are books about the history of that time, not books from that time. And do your best to stay to 5.
So, what are your big 5 books on church history?
Jared Wilson shares ten reasons to underprogram your church. Here are a few that resonated most with me, though they are all good reminders of what's most important. (By the way, Jared's new book, Gospel Deeps, is coming in September. Pre-order it.)
1. You can do a lot of things in a mediocre (or poor) way, or you can do a few things extremely well.
2. Over-programming creates an illusion of fruitfulness that may just be busy-ness. A bustling crowd may not be spiritually changed or engaged in mission at all. And as our flesh cries out for works, many times filling our programs with eager, even servant-minded people is a way to appeal to self-righteousness.
7. Over-programming creates satisfaction in an illusion of success; meanwhile mission suffers. If a church looks like it's doing lots of things, we tend to think it's doing great things for God. When really it may just be providing lots of religious goods and services.
8. Over-programming reduces margin in the lives of church members. It's a fast track to burnout for both volunteers and attendees, and it implicitly stifles sabbath.
Read Jared's post, "Ten Reasons To Underprogram Your Church."
My friend, Jonathan Dodson, has written a short ebook called Unbelievable Gospel. Looking forward to digging in. Has anyone read it yet?
I leave this blog today, not because my convictions have faded, but because I know that the message is out there now. Believe it or not, last month tallied the highest number of visitors in Introverted Church history, coming in at almost 25,000 people. Some people will think I am crazy to step off this platform now, but in my mind, last month gave me the permission that I needed to stop. People are talking about introverts and church, and I have accomplished what I set out to do. It was never my intention to become The Voice for introverts. It was always my intention to help my fellow introverts find their voices.
Read the entire post "A Moment of Silence". I'm thankful for Adam's book, blog, and ministry. Looking forward to his new book, The Listening Life, coming out next year.
Mark Dever shares some helpful insights on creating a reading culture in your church.
I got an email from my friends at Crossway on a great opportunity to get a massive grant. Please help, give, spread the word! From the email..
As you may know, Crossway is a not-for-profit ministry that relies in part on gifts from people like you to accomplish major ministry projects worldwide.
We’ve recently been presented with an extraordinary opportunity. Generous donors have offered an all-or-nothing matching grant if we are able to raise $270,000 by May 31st—just days from now.
This grant could not have come at a better time. In God’s kindness, we currently have unprecedented opportunities for creating, translating, and delivering ESV Bible resources for Christians in great need—especially in China, India, and multiple countries in Africa.
Will you help us toward meeting this matching grant before the end of May? ...a gift of any amount will help Crossway provide significantly more Bibles and Bible study resources to the church worldwide.
We would be grateful for your generous response to this urgent opportunity.
Give here or view the progress toward our goal.
Please support Crossway. Their books have been such a blessing to many and the ESV is my favorite translation.
Over the last couple of weeks I've been enjoying working out with Jerram Barrs audio from his two classes on Francis Schaeffer (Early Years & Later Years) at Covenant Seminary. Specifically, I've been listening by streaming through the Covenant Seminary Worldwide Classroom app on my Android phone.
I've thought for several years that one of the best things that could happen in American churches is that we would take a more L'Abri-like approach to our mission. You can read the Schaeffer's ministry at L'Abri in The Tapestry (out of print, but I just picked one up used but in perfect condition for $25) and L'Abri. I think churches like Soma Communities are doing this kind of thing better than most.
Whether or not you pick up the books, please go pick up these very helpful, free audio classes from Jerram Barrs are hard to beat as resources in thinking about mission, apologetics, living missionally, hospitality, etc. Download Francis Schaeffer: The Early Years and Francis Schaeffer: The Later Years now. You can get them through iTunes, or stream them over the Worldwide Classroom. While you are at it, find more great stuff from Jerram Barrs including his books The Heart of Evangelism and Learning Evangelism From Jesus.
WORTH CHECKING OUT
Learn to play the songs from Kristen Gilles...
BURNING UP MY iPOD
Also check out...
I really like The Good Book Company. Brad Byrd is a friend and is always telling me about new resources they are putting out. But before he could even tell me about it, I noticed the Explore app on The Good Book blog and downloaded it on my phone. It's excellent.
It's a self-paced devotional that you can use daily or use as you want. You start with 28 daily devotions free as an introduction to the devotional, and then you can subscribe to more. And these aren't just written by some no-name dude behind the scenes. They come from guys like Tim Chester, Christopher Ash, and Tim Keller.
Go to your app store and find Explore and give it a try. I think you'll like it.
For too long, we over-invested in the wrong places. Those retail centers and subdivisions will never be worth what they cost to build. We have to stop throwing good money after bad. It is time to instead build what the market wants: mixed-income, walkable cities and suburbs that will support the knowledge economy, promote environmental sustainability and create jobs.
For whatever reason, it’s easy for Christians to clam up and get weird when talking about their faith in the day-to-day. Here are a few tips to make bridge those inhibitions and get the conversation going...
I thought I was teetering on the edge of crazy with no way to explain to anyone for fear they would quickly need to catch a bus. I was not crazy, or at least not in an inordinate way. With each turn of the page a brilliant sky of possibility opened up to gaze in. Now I might look crazy to some when looking up into that firmament. But, I knew I wasn't the only one.
The duty which I press upon thee so earnestly, and in the practice of which I am now to direct thee, is, “The set and solemn acting of all the powers of thy soul in meditation upon thy everlasting rest.” More fully to explain the nature of this duty, I will here illustrate a little the description itself-then point out the fittest time, place, and temper of mind, for it.
Groundhog Day is coming, and it's Groundhog Days in Woodstock, IL -- the movie Groundhog Day was filmed in Woodstock, IL 1992 and released in 1993. Watch it again this Groundhog Day. And if you are in the Chicagoland area, stop by Woodstock for the festivities.
This is a powerful book; it is my new favorite book on marriage and the best of all the books I read in 2011. The Meaning of Marriage elevates marriage, making it something beautiful and holy and lovely. And with it comes friendship and companionship and sex and everything else God has packaged into the marriage relationship. This book celebrates it all and it does it within the greatest context of all—the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Having read the book through two times, I’ve found myself wondering how to best measure or evaluate it, but perhaps these criteria are useful: Would I want to read it with my wife or would I encourage her to read it on her own? Would I recommend it to the people in my church? In both cases the answer is an unreserved yes. In fact, I bought the audio book and listened to it with my wife and her assessment is the same as mine: Though there are many great books on marriage, this is the one we will recommend first.
I'm working on choosing (or tweaking) a Bible reading plan for my family for 2012 so the kids can each work through some of their ESV Student Study Bibles, and so we can enjoy daily family discussions on what we are all reading at the same time. Thought it might be nice to list a couple of resources I'm looking at for the Bible as well as other good theological and devotional resources.
Justin Taylor has a wonderful (fairly comprephensive) post on many reading plans out there, including options you may not think of on your own. He also has a post that includes a reading plan for Calvin's Institutes.
Joe Thorn's reading plan for the Puritan prayers found in Valley of Vision might be a great way to start the year devotionally.
David Murray, who has quickly become one of my favorite thinkers through his blog and Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary podcast, has a yearly children's morning and evening Bible reading plan. The explanation is here, and the plan is here.
Please feel free to share other plans you recommend or the plan you are using next year.
From Jim Elliff and Christian Communicators Worldwide...
We want to partner with you in evangelism next year by offering one of our most popular books very close to our cost.
I’ve never been impacted so much by such a small book. Came at just the right time in my life. It’s a primer on “preaching to yourself,” which in Joe Thorn’s hands is a kind of meditation with muscles. Short, punchy, meaty, heart-searching, and encouraging chapters that make an ideal warm-up for daily Bible reading – at least that’s how I used it. I’ve also found it a great book for mentoring others. With this book, Joe Thorn became my favorite modern Puritan! Hope that doesn’t harm your ministry, Joe!
Cheap Kindle books (several from Shepherd Press)...
5 Ways Wives Can Encourage Their Husbands | Jared Wilson
When you nitpick and nag, you give mouthpiece to the accuser who wants your husband to know not only does he not have what it takes, he is worthless because of it. So find ways to constructively criticize and help him repent, but more than that, tell him what you like about him, how you find him attractive or admirable, how you respect him or are impressed by him. Outdo him in showing honor (Rom. 12:10).
On the surface, the Reformed and evangelical world seems divided between "Cultural Transformationists" and the "Two Kingdoms" views of these things. Transformationists fall into fairly different camps, including the neo-Calvinists who follow Abraham Kuyper, the Christian Right, and the theonomists. Though different in significant ways, they all believe Christians should be about redeeming and changing the culture along Christian lines.
Pencil Does Not Fade | Joe Thorn
A cursory search on the internet shows most people stating as fact, “Writing in pencil will fade over time.” Rather than trust the opinion of some random dude on Yahoo Answers who hasn’t even read an article on the subject, I thought I would ask some people who could give me better direction. So I contacted the National Archives. They were happy to answer my questions quickly and provide helpful references. After a few email exchanges with people who spend their time in historic documents, here is the bottom line for those wondering if writing in pencil will fade.
Graphite pencil is a very stable material. It does not fade in light. It does not bleed in water unless other dyes were added.
Mark Dever - Reading Sibbes Aloud | After purchasing the 7 vol Works of Richard Sibbes I was reminded that Mark Dever, who literally wrote the book on Sibbes, has read aloud a number of Sibbes sermons. A nice idea, and worth checking out.
Sale on Cruciform Press eBooks. Kindle books from $0.99-$2.99! Go get'm!
There be two sorts of people always in the visible church, one that Satan keeps under with false peace, whose life is nothing but a diversion to present contentments, and a running away from God and their own hearts, which they know can speak no good unto them; these speak peace to themselves, but God speaks none. Such have nothing to do with this Scripture, Ps xlii 11; the way for these men to enjoy comfort, is to be soundly troubled. True peace arises from knowing the worst first, and then our freedom from it. It is a miserable peace that riseth from ignorance of evil. The angel 'troubled the waters,' John v. 4, and then it cured those that stepped in. It is Christ's manner to trouble our souls first, and then to come with healing in his wings.
But there is another sort of people, who being drawn out of Satan's kingdom and within the covenant of grace, whom Satan labours to unsettle and disquiet: being the 'god of this world,' 2 Cor. iv. 4, he is vexed to see men in the world, walk above the world. Since he cannot hinder their estate, he will trouble their peace, and damp their spirits, and cut asunder the sinews of all their endeavours. These should take themselves to task as David doth here, and labour to maintain their portion and the glory of a Christian profession.
Tim Keller is 100 gifts to the Church. Maybe one of the most important is his ability to talk to non-Christians & intellectuals. Here's his hour long talk to the employees at Google on The Meaning of Marriage. How many Christians could talk to this crowd in such a reasonable and inviting way on an issue of decreasing weight in our culture? Wonderful. (HT:JT)
Joe has been pestering me with multiple emails, insisting I get an ESV Journaling Bible. Now he's gone public with his love for it in his new post, "How I'm Using the ESV Journaling Bible." I'm ordering this one today. Here's a few words on how he uses the lined, wide margins...
1. Summation, Connection, and Implication.
I often write out a summation of certain truths, arguments, or passages that make things clear for me.
2. Cross references.
Some people won’t like that the ESV Journaling Bible doesn’t have cross refernces, but I like that I get to add my own.
I’m even throwing helpful quotes from other writers/theologians when helpful to me or those I may wind up teaching.
Gospel wakefulness means treasuring Christ more greatly and savoring his power more sweetly. Treasuring Christ more greatly and savoring his power more sweetly is simply the the long way of writing worship.
Worship is the ascribing of the worth to something or someone. In this case, of course, the recipient of this worship is God, the only one worthy of our worship. What happens in gospel wakefulness is that in our brokenness, our sense of self-worth and sufficiency in things other than God gets destroyed, and as the good news of Christ's finished work is applied to us, our affections become reformed, renewed, and revitalized.
Jared Wilson in Gospel Wakefulness, p 77 (bold emphasis mine).
A few cheap Kindle books I've found lately...
If you don't have a Kindle, you can still read these books with a Kindle app on your computer or phone. Just download a free app. Or buy a Kindle for $79, $99 (Touch), $149 (Touch 3G), or $199 (Fire, color & apps).
Joel Beeke & Brian Najapfour in Taking Hold of God: Reformed & Puritan Perspectives on Prayer list what John Calvin (Institutes: book 3, chapter 20) sees as the six (at least) purposes of prayer.
- To fly to God with every need and gain from Him what is lacking in ourselves to live the Christian life
- To learn to desire wholeheartedly only what is right as we place all our petitions before God
- To prepare us to receive God's benefits and responses to to our petitions with humble gratitude
- To meditate on God's kindness to us as we receive what we have asked for
- To instill the proper spirit of delight for God's answers in prayer
- To confirm God's faithful providence so that we may glorify Him and trust in His present help more readily as we witness His regularly answering our prayers
"All of these purposes are designed to foster communion with God so that 'the promises of God should have their way with us.'" (quoting Niesel, Theology of Calvin, 157)
From Taking Hold of God, pg 31-32.
From Jared Wilson's new book, Gospel Wakefulness, here are 11 signs (pgs 72-73) you haven't experienced gospel wakefulness...
Gospel wakened people feel swept off their feet by their romancing God. (If you're a man, and this sort of "church as feminine" language bothers you, you will have to get over it. This is how God draws our character. You will have to nail your machismo to the cross and stop thinking you're more of a man than your Groom.) When the power of the gospel saps the power of idols from our veins, when we have really tasted and seen that the Lord is good, we are so smitten we can't help but ditch every back door Johnny we ever messed around with. How pathetic they are! And how pathetic we were for ever giving in to their two-bit come-ons.
A bride joined to her groom forsakes all others. She writes the spiritual equivalent of Dear John letters to her idols. When God's love captivates you, you go around spurning all your other lovers. I call this "blaspheming" your idols.
Blaspheme them. Tell them they have no appeal to you anymore. Tell them you don't need their damage, their pain, their anti-glories. Tell them you have no desires to use and abuse them anymore. Tell them your heart, mind, soul, and strength belong wholly to God now. And then don't speak as a love to them ever again. Sinful relationships must end.
From Jared Wilson's Gospel Wakefulness, p 70, bold emphasis mine.