Blog Posts by Jonathan Parnell
The KINGDOM Bible Reading Plan
The KINGDOM Bible Reading Plan is another option to consider as you think about reading through the Bible in 2012. Compiled by Bethlehem professor Jason DeRouchie, this plan offers five distinctives:
- Proportionate weight is given to the Old and New Testaments in view of their relative length, the Old receiving three readings per day and the New getting one reading per day.
- The Old Testament readings follow the arrangement of…
The Deeper Strength of Masculinity
Have we overreacted to the man deficiency of our day?
Everyone, church or culture, can vouch for the absence of men and the adultolescense phenomenon. And yet, this masculinity anemia can force an unhealthy perception of what manhood is.
In this three-minute video, Darrin Patrick talks about the need to move beyond mere "physical engagement equals manliness" to emotional strength and spiritual fortitude:
Darrin's topic at the 2012 Conference…Continue Reading
Edwards's Resolutions in Seven Categories
Back in 1723 Jonathan Edwards chartered a list of resolutions for his life. 70 of them. And he read them once a week.
Matt Perman writes:
[Edwards] shows us that a well lived life doesn't just happen; it requires intentionality. And intentionality manifests itself in certain "mechanisms" that help us maintain our intentionality. Edwards' resolutions are one example of such a "mechanism."
So Edwards is a good example not just…
Catalyst Interview with John Piper
John Piper was recently interviewed for the Catalyst podcast on race and the gospel, what it means to enjoy God, and lessons on leadership. The discussion with Pastor John starts at the 15:40 mark.
A couple highlights…
- The 26:55 mark, Pastor John shares two ways the truth of God's glory in our joy has changed him personally.
- The 34:52 mark, Pastor John talks about the most consistent advice he passes…
A Promise, a Manger, and a City with No Need for the Sun
A Song of Ascents
There I will make a horn to sprout for David; I have prepared a lamp for my anointed. (Psalm 132:17)
Psalm 132 is the longest and clearest of the Songs of Ascents. As we've seen in the earlier psalms, we are coming up out of exile in hopes of a restored Jerusalem. Psalm 132 tells us why this Jerusalem is so special: it is the place…Continue Reading
Why Christmas Morning Was a Trajectory
Kenōsis is the Greek word in Philippians 2:7 translated "made nothing" (ESV). It's what Jesus did to himself — "he made himself nothing . . ."
Donald Macleod writes,
In becoming incarnate God not only accomodates himself to human weakness: he buries his glory under veil after veil so that it is impossible for flesh and blood to recognize him. As he hangs on the cross, bleeding, battered, powerless…
How We Get from Exile to a Restored Jerusalem
A Song of Ascents. Of Solomon
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord . . . (Psalm 127:3)
So Israel is in exile, but there is hope. Our eyes look to the Lord our God, till he has mercy upon us (Psalm 123:2). These are the "Songs of Ascents" after all. Israel is coming up out of her captivity. We are headed to a restored Jerusalem.
From exile…Continue Reading
What He Secured Wasn't Sympathy, But Immunity
Jesus is able to sympathize with our weaknesses. He's a Savior who knows what it's like to be human, to live in a fallen world, to experience temptation. And better news than our exemplar, Jesus was our substitution.
Donald Macleod writes,
There can be no doubt that the Father loved him; here, at Golgotha, above all, because this was the magnificent climax of his obedience. . . .
The Woe of Sojourning Here
A Song of Ascents . . .
Woe to me, that I sojourn in Meshech, that I dwell among the tents of Kedar! (Psalms 120:5)
The first "Song of Ascents" tells us Israel is in exile.
Glance through the surrounding pages to see this same superscript is repeated. In fact, Psalms 120–134 are all introduced "A Song of Ascents." Understood in its context, this refers to Israel's "coming up" out…Continue Reading
Why Biblical Manhood and Womanhood Matters
John Piper and Darrin Patrick recently discussed the Bible's teaching on biblical manhood and womanhood. In this ten-minute video they share about their journey to embrace biblical complementarity and why it matters:
Stream or download the interview.
00:35 — John Piper's pilgrimage on the issue of biblical complementarity.
05:03 — Darrin Patrick's pilgrimage on the issue. . . .
07:33 — Why biblical complementarity matters in ministry.
Our Weakness Is No Stranger
There are trillions of ways that Jesus is not like us. The Nicene Creed is only a sketch of what this looks like. These ways are vast — far more vast than what we're able to say.
Jesus Is Different
Jesus is the Lord. From everlasting to everlasting, he is God. Very God of very God. A non-blended person of the undivided essence. Triunely Sovereign, utterly independent, sourceless and…Continue Reading
Ten Ways to Bring the Gospel Home This Christmas
Tis' the most wonderful time of the year . . . and it's a unique opportunity to give the good news of Jesus to your unbelieving family.
Randy Newman's book, Bringing the Gospel Home, is a resource meant to equip Christians in how to talk about the gospel in their closest relationships. Because of the book's relevance in this season, Crossway is currently offering a free download.
Christmas… Continue Reading
Apple Pie and Satisfied in God
How and Why God Changes People
When Paul calls the power of Christ which changed him from great sinner to great apostle — when he calls this power "mercy," he exalts not himself but the Savior. The Christmas gift of change is always a gift, and never a wage. It can never be boasted in. It can be sought after the way a helpless, hungry man seeks food; and it can be accepted by…
Pastors, What You Preach Is Already Decided
We have a fixed faith to preach, my brethren, and we are sent forth with a definite message from God. We are not left to fabricate the message as we go along. We are not sent forth by our Master with a general commission arranged on this fashion — "As you shall think in your heart and invent in your head, so preach. . . ."
Ray Ortlund on Union with Christ
The newest Theology Refresh features a discussion with Ray Ortlund on the doctrine of union with Christ.
As one writer explains, "Union with Christ is theological shorthand for the gospel itself — a key image that pulls together numerous motifs in the biblical witness" (J. Todd Billings, Union with Christ). It's perhaps the least likely of all doctrines to stifle in the abstract. Saturating the writings of Paul, union…Continue Reading
The Feeble Infant Came to Conquer Satan
His infinite condescension marvelously appeared in the manner of his birth. He was brought forth in a stable because there was no room for them in the inn. The inn was taken up by others, that were looked upon as persons of greater account.
The Blessed Virgin, being poor and despised, was turned or shut out. Though she was in such necessitous circumstances, yet those that counted themselves…
How Jesus Made Himself Nothing
K. Scott Oliphint writes,
What then does Paul mean when he says that this preincarnate Son, who was in the form of God but who took on the form of a servant “made himself nothing”?. . .
We are, says Paul, to incubate within ourselves the same mind-set that Christ himself had when he chose to come down to us. More specifically, we are told, “do nothing from rivalry or…
Have We Over-Elevated the Family?
Every pastor knows the tension between caring for his family and caring for his flock. Pastor John talks about what faithfulness looks like:
Join us on January 30 to February 1 for our 2012 Conference for Pastors, "God, Manhood & Ministry: Building Men for the Body of Christ."
Christmas: How Goodies Lose Their Attraction
At the end of this age when Christ returns, the final act of purification will take place; all impurities in the hearts of God's people will be done away with.
But that promise of purity has begun to be fulfilled in the first coming of Christ. Hebrews 1:3 says, "When [Christ] had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high." And Titus…
How Light Swallowed Darkness
C. S. Lewis:
In the Incarnation God the Son takes the body and human soul of Jesus, and, through that, the whole environment of Nature, all the creaturely predicament, into his own being.
So that ‘he came down from Heaven’ can almost be transposed into ‘Heaven drew earth up into it,’ and locality, limitation, sleep, sweat, footsore weariness, frustration, pain, doubt, and death, are, from before all worlds, known by…
Why Pastors Should Bless Interracial Marriage
Lessons Doug Wilson Learned from His Dad
Doug Wilson will join us at the 2012 Conference for Pastors (Jan 30 – Feb 1) to speak on the subject of "father hunger." Registration for the conference is now open.
Recent posts for the 2012 Conference for Pastors —
- J. C. Ryle on the Power of Prayer
- A Culture of Hope for the Men of the Church (Video from Darrin Patrick)
12 Reasons for Christmas
- “For this I was born and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth” (John 18:37).
- “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8; cf. Hebrews 2:14–15).
- “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I came not to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mark 2:17).
Jared Wilson on the Doctrine of the Trinity
The Athanasian Creed begins "we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in unity;
Neither blending his persons: nor dividing his essence."
This is not a truth for the classroom. The Lord is the holy one-and-three. It is who he is. It is what it means to be God. And it has implications for how the Christian lives.
In this newest episode of Theology Refresh — the theological podcast designed…Continue Reading