Blog Posts by Tony Reinke

Marriage on the Cosmic Stage

Tony Reinke

Christian marriage has been caught up into the cosmic drama of the gospel.

In this first Authors on the Line podcast of 2013 we talk with Bible scholar G. K. Beale, the Professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary. His research on Ephesians sheds light on how Christian marriage is shaped by the finished work of Christ in the inauguration of the New Creation. The patient…

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Marriage in the Cosmic Plan of God

Tony Reinke

How easy is it to detach our marriages from the finished work of Christ?

Very easy.

Tragically easy.

This may be due to living in a society where marriage is ever pressed into molds defined by the increasing unbelief around us, rather than biblical revelation. The very definition of marriage in our day has increasingly taken the feel of Play-Doh, all squishy and moldable in political debates and water-cooler conversations.

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Ask Pastor John Podcast Relaunch

Tony Reinke

A week ago, John Piper celebrated his 67th birthday. On his birthday, we asked him about his prayer for this new chapter of ministry.

“I really do feel remarkably vulnerable to distraction because of the lifting of certain pressures,” he says. “Deadlines are wonderfully productive. And pressure, while we hate it, really does help [our productivity].”

Pastor John shares his goals (and his fears) as he moves into a new…

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Jesus Sings

Tony Reinke

Jesus sings.

If Scripture didn’t say it, I wouldn’t either. But it’s true. In four places in Scripture we read that Jesus, the Son of God himself, raised his voice in worship.1

Which is immediately confusing on one level. It's not that there's anything wrong with singing, just that I imagine our Savior much better suited as the silent recipient of adoration and worship (Revelation 5:6–14). But he also…

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Christian Hedonism in 155 Words

Tony Reinke

How do you explain “glorify” to a small child? Biblical concepts like this pose a particular problem for parents, and author Sally Lloyd-Jones provides us with some help. I included her book Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing in my list of top 12 books of 2012, largely for how well she translates complex and abstract theological categories (like glory), through story, for young children (particularly mine).

One…

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Parenting as Storytelling

Tony Reinke

Training children to love reading can be tough. Okay, really tough. A host of visual entertainment competes for our children's attention. Things like video games, which are not necessarily bad in themselves, can spill over boundaries and erode a child’s love of reading. When visual entertainment choices threaten a love for books and imaginative storytelling in a young child's life, parents should be concerned. Parents need wisdom here, wisdom suited…

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A (Very) Short Prayer for Joy Seekers

Tony Reinke

At the very points in my life when my soul feels most dry and joyless, I often find myself most spiritually speechless. I'm stuck. And when I get stuck in this inarticulate joyless state I turn to the Psalms. There my plea finds its language.

In a lot of ways, Psalm 86 is like the Lord’s Prayer. It's a ready-made prayer for our daily lives — short and simple, yet…

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Why We Read the Bible

Tony Reinke

Reading the Bible cover-to-cover each year is a resolution that is both noble and realistic. Today we have many apps and guides to help us with the process of our Bible reading. But at the start of our new year it’s helpful to look at the aim of our Bible reading. Why do we read the Bible?

In addressing biblical counselors in 2002, Pastor John explained it this way:

I…

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What Difference Has Looking Made?

Tony Reinke

The holiday season is notoriously busy. But there are often quiet moments at Christmas to slow our lives down for worship. The classic Nativity figurines and all the classic Nativity paintings capture this divine silence. In the presence of the infant God-man, our response is speechless adoration.

As quickly as the Christmas season arrives, however, the quiet moment passes away for another year. Trees and decorations and lights are taken…

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The Power of ‘Les Miserables’

Tony Reinke

The new stage-to-screen adaptation of Les Misérables (which releases today) is proof again of the enduring power of Victor Hugo’s 150-year-old masterpiece. The novel-turned-musical has been released for film and television now 67 times in the past 115 years.

And although I cannot commend that you go see the newest rendition — mostly due to two suggestive sex scenes involving prostitutes — we don't need the new film to explore…

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Christmas in a Cold Prison

Tony Reinke

Dietrich Bonhoeffer awoke December 25, 1943 on a hard wooden bed. It was the first of two Christmases he would spend sequestered in a Nazi prison.

This first Christmas would be celebrated in a lonely prison cell in a place called Tegel. He had been there for nine months, and he would be there for nine more until he was transferred to his final home, a Nazi concentration camp.

Bonhoeffer…

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Behind the Blog: Flavelicious

Tony Reinke

We sat down to record one more Behind the Blog before we split for Christmas. In this episode we talk about a web pioneer named Moe, and about how Puritan John Flavel's horseback encounter with the Lord can help us benefit from our daily commutes in the car. We also talk about some of my picks for the top books of 2012. And I'm certain listeners will be encouraged to…

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Keeping the Cross At the Center of Christmas

Tony Reinke

Ann Voskamp is the wife of a farmer, the busy mom of six kids, and a bestselling author. Throughout the year, Voskamp’s writings are a reminder that kindling thankfulness leads us to fellowship with God. During the holidays, Voskamp’s writings are a reminder that celebrating the birth of Christ points us to remember the death of our Savior.

On this special Christmas edition of Authors on the Line,…

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The Invincible, Irrefutable Joy

Tony Reinke

When the Nazis padlocked the doors of the Confessing Church seminaries in Germany in the Autumn of 1937, Dietrich Bonhoeffer took theological training underground and opened his own seminary in Finkenwalde. Before the Gestapo shut it down in 1939, Bonhoeffer managed to train 67 seminary students.1 These 67 seminarians and Bonhoeffer formed a band of brothers that could not be torn apart, although some of them were arrested, some…

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Top 12 Books of 2012

Tony Reinke

For seven years I’ve had the honor of tracking non-fiction books released by Christian publishers, and in that span of time I would say 2012 was the most fruitful year of them all. Recently I gathered up my favorite titles of the year — everything from theological works and commentaries to marriage and children’s books — and chose what I think were the 12 most important books published in 2012.…

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Christmas and the Sting of Personal Loss: An Interview with John Piper and Paul Maier

Tony Reinke

On this episode of Authors on the Line we talk with two authors — pastor John Piper and historian Paul Maier — about tragedy, loss, and the Christmas season.

We talk with Maier to discover just how tightly interwoven into the Nativity story tragedy is found. We read there of a paranoid king named Herod, who unleashed the tragic killing of young boys in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:16). Who was Herod?…

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Advent Is Slow — on Purpose

Tony Reinke

Who has time to celebrate Advent? That’s my initial thought each year.

But that’s the point. Advent takes time. It cannot be microwaved, it cannot be compressed into 24 hours, and it cannot be sped up to the bustling speed of our daily lives. Advent is slow on purpose, because the slowness of the celebration mirrors the slowly unfolding drama of the Advent of the Savior himself in history.

One…

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Learning from Lincoln’s Flawed Marriage

Tony Reinke

The impressive new feature film Lincoln brings with it a high-definition reminder of the tremendous strengths and flaws of, and the challenges faced by, the 16th president of the United States.

One struggle that finds its way into the movie — and one scene in particular — is the strained and complicated marital relationship between Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln. And yet from their marital mess, there’s an abiding counter-cultural…

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The Trinitarian Shape of Jonathan Edwards's Theology

Tony Reinke

The theology of Jonathan Edwards is built around the living, triune God — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

But just how central is the Trinity for Edwards? How early in his life did the Trinity begin shaping his theology? How does this govern how Edwards understands love, and understands the origin of God’s impulse to create the universe, and understands the character and experience of heaven? And how does the…

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All I Have Is Christ — Free Song Download

Tony Reinke

What would eight thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer’s praise sound like?

Well, if you want ten thousand male voices, it will sound a lot like the new album, Together for the Gospel Live II. The album releases today, and the tracks were recorded during musical worship at the T4G gathering in April (and some from the 2010 gathering).

To mark the release of the album, our friends…

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Four Reasons Men Don’t Read Books (with a Practical Suggestion)

Tony Reinke

Men in the church don't read well.

I don’t have statistics or studies to prove this. My conclusion draws from my experience, and from educated intuition. I recently discussed this conclusion with Albert Mohler, and he agreed, "It's a very correct and perceptive intuition." So that's something.

Of course, not all Christian men struggle with reading. Many men in the pews are very competent readers, and the church is stronger…

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When Husbands and Wives Walk in Deep Water

Tony Reinke

On January 4, 2011, on Twitter, Pastor John wrote:

Marriage. The roots are deep. The covenant is solid. The love is sweet. Life is hard. And God is good.

The quote is a rewrite of what Pastor John wrote in 2003 to Noël in the preface to his book Desiring God.

But when the quote appeared on Twitter in 2011, a woman named Patty Hurtarte copied it into her…

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