Blog Posts by Jonathan Parnell
How to Clear the Clutter in Your Life
Sometimes our dining room table gets cluttered.
For one, it’s a big table. Every time I have to squeeze around the end chair, sliding my back against the wall, I remind myself that it’s not for the table we live…Continue Reading
Learning from Lincoln’s Compelling Precision
On November 19, 1863 — 150 years ago today — a tall, stressed out man from Illinois stood up to deliver 269 words that changed a country. It took him only two minutes.
Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth President of the…Continue Reading
When the Sex Should Stop
Sometimes sex should stop in marriage.
The sometimes is really important. Not all the time. It’s not what is normative or typical. It’s sometimes. And, at the same time, be sure that sometimes really means sometimes. Real times.…Continue Reading
The Kind of Father He Is
The castle was mangled. With just a glance, you could tell it was bad.
The main gate was completely exposed. The chains that once lowered the intimidating drawbridge were now severed. The drum tower, which had weathered the most obvious…Continue Reading
Good News, Everyone’s Invited
Not everyone will believe the gospel, but everyone should be invited.
We know from Scripture, and experience, that not everyone will trust in Jesus and be saved. In fact, many will not. Many today sitting in churches across this country…Continue Reading
The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost. (Luke 19:10)
Christianity is summed up in these words: Jesus came to seek and save the lost. If we were asked to describe in a sentence the…Continue Reading
God’s Glory Wins
Not everyone will believe the gospel. Why?
“God desires all people to be saved,” 1 Timothy 2:4 tells us. “God does not take pleasure in the death of anyone,” Ezekiel 18:32 says. Then why are there some who refuse to…Continue Reading
Three Prayers for Facing Monday (Or Any Tomorrow)
Jesus Doesn’t Love You Like That
Either Jesus died to save his church or he didn’t. There isn’t a third option.
Either he gave himself up for his bride, as Ephesians 5:25 tells us, or he died to create the possibility of her salvation that depends…Continue Reading
The Best Way to Start Your Everyday
Psalm 143:8 may capture it best:
Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love,
for in you I trust.
Make me know the way I should go,
for to you I lift up my soul.
Two things make…Continue Reading
Does Success Start on Sunday?
In the outskirts of the city, on a road that’s walked as much as driven, a typical car brakes at a red light.
It is the kind of car so typical that the actual model stays blurry in memory. It…Continue Reading
It’s Time to Celebrate
“He heard music and dancing.”
This line introduces the first main action of the “older brother” in Jesus’s parable of the Prodigal Son. The rest of the story culminates with what he doesn’t do.
Once There Was a Party
Pizza! Pizza! Waking Up in Little Caesar’s
This is a story of discovery. C.S. Lewis was my guide. It all happened because of one late afternoon in the Spring of Minnesota when I heard these words:
Now this is a story all about how my life got…
Don’t Go to Church to Give
Today, millions of Christians will gather to worship Jesus. Each gathering, as its own mosaic of souls, will meet at its own place and time. I hope you will be at one, somewhere, and I hope you go there to…Continue Reading
Is Anyone Sad for Ariel Castro?
On August 1 Ariel Castro was sentenced to life in prison plus 1,000 years for kidnapping three girls he locked in his home for a decade, which included torture and rape, and the murder of an unborn child. Yesterday, a…Continue Reading
Three Reasons to Pray for President Obama
Knowing what is right and doing what is right are the basics to following Jesus in this world. But it’s not always simple.
The freedoms for Christian discipleship in the United States seem to be shriveling, albeit slowly. American Christians…Continue Reading
Fight Your Sin: A Storyline for the Battle Lines
Fight your sin with a storyline. I mean right now. Life is war, everyday. Submerged temptations lie waiting for you just out of sight. Insidious sirens are faintly wooing your way, beckoning you to cruise their waters. You will hear…Continue Reading
A Song to Help Us Long for Jesus
Music has a unique ability to affect the human soul. The synergy of words and tunes helps us express reality, and feel reality, especially when it resonates with our deepest desires.
“Lord, I want to yearn for you” is a…Continue Reading
God Will Never Regret Saving You
It was almost 7 AM — opening time for a tiny concession stand dubbed the Eureka Café. I was there first, leaning on the counter and staring happily at the trademark: “We Proudly Brew Starbucks Coffee.”
I had expected this…Continue Reading
Do You Want Your Faith to Grow?
Untamable Truth Changes Lives
This book is not a memoir.
The truths here, as John Piper describes them, are “wildly untamable, explosively uncontainable, and electrically future-creating.” They represent the proclaimed statement of faith from one pastor of one local church over the course of…Continue Reading
Tim Keller on the Writing Brilliance of C.S. Lewis
C.S. Lewis was an exemplary communicator of Christian truth. So was the 18th-century theologian Jonathan Edwards.
The use of images was Edwards’s forte, while Lewis excelled in illustrations. Both men understood that abstract, propositional truth touches the heart when it’s…Continue Reading
You’re Awesome — But Not That Awesome
If you ever wondered what it would be like to read tweets and Facebook updates from a 17th-century genius, check out Pascal’s Pensées.
Born in France in 1623, Blaise Pascal was a brilliant mathematician and physicist, then philosopher, then…Continue Reading
Would We Have Been Friends? Keller and Piper on Lewis
C.S. Lewis tended to be generous, maybe even too generous.
Lewis’s influence is profound in the lives of Tim Keller and John Piper, but they both wonder whether they would be friends with him if he were still alive. Would…Continue Reading