Blog Posts by Tony Reinke
What's the Hole in Our Holiness?
Kevin DeYoung is the author of the new book The Hole In Our Holiness: Filling the Gap Between Gospel Passion and the Pursuit of Godliness (Crossway, 2012). During a recent trip to Minneapolis, we pulled Kevin into the studio to ask him about a number of key themes from his book. In this first clip from the interview, Kevin talks about his family, his church in Michigan, why he…Continue Reading
Sweet or Sour Holiness?
In his new book Gospel Deeps, Jared Wilson writes, “If holiness makes you a sourpuss, you’re doing it wrong.” (Wouldn’t that make a nice slogan on a changeable letter church billboard?)
Wilson’s line is pointed and poignant. But why? What is the fundamental connection between joy and obedience?
One biblical text that gets at this dynamic is 1 John 5:3–4,
For this is the love of God, that we…
Hope That Purifies
Our heavenly Father encourages his children to put off sin by delivering strong warnings in Scripture (Hebrews 6:4–8; 10:26–31). But he also motivates us to put on holiness by drawing from our assurances, like in 1 John 3:2a–3:
we know that when he [Christ] appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is…
Battling Depression . . . Redemption, Medication, and Christ
If we are called to battle depression together as brothers and sisters in Christ, we must all strive for understanding and compassion. We recently asked Ed Welch, a biblical counselor at CCEF who specializes in these matters, what role antidepressant medications can and should play. In the following clip he answers the question and concludes with a challenge to pastors (and really to everyone in the church who seeks to…Continue Reading
Battling Depression . . . Together
In 1954, speaking of spiritual depression, Martyn Lloyd-Jones said, "I have no hesitation in asserting that one of the reasons why the Christian Church counts for so little in the modern world is that so many Christians are in this condition."
It's striking to hear of how common the struggle was in his day. Depression is no stranger to the great leaders in church history (in fact, it affected quite…Continue Reading
The Heart of Sinful Anger
Sinful anger is toxic. It corrodes marriages, churches, and workplaces. No relationship is immune from its power. And for many Christians the battle against anger is a prominent battlefront in the fight for personal holiness. So what’s at the heart of sinful anger? We asked biblical counselor David Powlison this question in our recent trip to the CCEF in Philadelphia. Here’s what he said:
For more on this topic see …Continue Reading
Is Sanctification Complex or Simple?
Is progressive sanctification complex or simple? We asked biblical counselor David Powlison in our recent trip to the CCEF in Philadelphia. Progressive sanctification is impossibly complicated, he said. And yet there's a biblical simplicity that addresses the complexities of life. In this video clip, he explains this complexity-simplicity dynamic:
Defending the Unborn Through Art
Over 50 million unborn lives have been snuffed out through the dark work of abortion since 1973. That’s 3,000 children each day in the United States alone. To bring this stat closer to home (or into your home), as many as 1 in 3 American women will have an abortion in their lifetime. Despite these horrific numbers, the abortion industry in the United States remains wealthy, vocal, and persistent.
How Christ Died to Sin (And Why It Matters)
Our Savior died for sin, and he died for sinners. But Christ also died to sin (Romans 6:10) — a curious point Paul makes in a chapter loaded with implications for our personal pursuit of holiness.
So what does it mean that Christ died to sin? And why does it matter for our battle against personal sin? During our recent trip to Philadelphia we asked Richard Gaffin, a respected…Continue Reading
Learning About Sanctification From Fyodor Dostoyevsky
David Powlison is a biblical counselor, and he is also an avid reader of the 19th-century Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Those two facts are not disconnected, as we discovered in our recent trip to Philadelphia and CCEF. In this 5-minute video, Powlison tells us what he’s learned about sanctification and ministry from the writings of Dostoyevsky.
Recently published videos from our CCEF trip:Continue Reading
Christ Died to Give Us Christ-Exalting Friendships
“Jesus never intended that the enjoyment of his presence would replace the enjoyment of the presence of Christian friends,” says John Piper in his most recent sermon on 2 Timothy 4:9–12. Although we have an infallible Savior, we still have need of our fickle, fallen, finite, fallible, and failing friends, a point Piper makes in this 5-minute clip:
This clip was taken from John Piper’s sermon: “He Stood…Continue Reading
Reading Books and Dying Well
In the shadow of his death, Paul asked Timothy to bring him his books (2 Timothy 4:13). In the following clip from his most recent sermon, John Piper explains the significance of this request. “Form the habit of reading now,” Piper says, “and never think you will outgrow it as you approach the grave.”
This clip was taken from John Piper’s sermon: “He Stood by Me and Strengthened…Continue Reading
A Caution to Young, Culture-Embracing Evangelicals
Demas was on Paul’s ministry team — and then Demas abandoned his ministry post out of a love for “this present world” (2 Timothy 4:10). “There is a love for the world that makes ministry impossible,” John Piper says in this caution to young, culture-embracing evangelicals:
This clip was taken from Pastor John’s latest sermon: “He Stood by Me and Strengthened Me for the Sake of the Gospel…Continue Reading
The Highest Holiness
"The highest holiness for you is to be like Christ," said Charles Spurgeon.
Exactly. If you want a perfect model of human holiness, look to Christ. Kevin DeYoung explains this point in his new book The Hole in Our Holiness: Filling the Gap between Gospel Passion and the Pursuit of Godliness [(Crossway, 2012), pages 38, 46–47].
He begins his point with a return to creation.
Adam and Eve were created…
Why Pornography Robs a Man of His Humanness
Addiction to pornography is not limited to men, but it is a major problem among men, and Christian men, and even among pastors and missionaries. Not long ago, counselor Harry Schaumburg shared with us the prevalence of pornography among men in the ministry. It is a serious sin problem that calls for our prayers and our attention.
We recently traveled to the CCEF in Philadelphia where we asked counselor Ed…Continue Reading
The Blessed Struggle Against Fear and Anxiety
The Christian's battle against fear and anxiety is a blessed struggle — so says biblical counselor and author Ed Welch. But why is this struggle blessed?
We asked him that question during our recent trip to the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF) in Philadelphia. He answers in this 2-minute clip:
Ed Welch is a speaker at our upcoming National Conference. Visit the event page to learn more…Continue Reading
God’s Aim in Election, and Our Personal Holiness
After revealing his free electing grace toward sinners like us, what does God intend to do with his children now? What is the aim of our election?
He answered by expounding Paul’s words in Romans 8:29–30:
29 For those whom he foreknew he also…
Fear, Anxiety, and Growing in Sanctification
Ed Welch is a biblical counselor and the author of several books including Running Scared: Fear, Worry & the God of Rest. He serves on the faculty of the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF) in Philadelphia, where we recently connected. We asked him how fear, anxiety, and worry short-circuit the Christian life, and how we can gauge growth in these struggles. He answered in this brief 2-minute video:… Continue Reading
Can I Grow in Holiness Without the Local Church?
We recently traveled to the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF) in Philadelphia in search of some answers to our burning questions about sanctification. While there, we asked counselor and author David Powlison what role the local church plays in our sanctification. He explains in this video clip —
This is a theme we will return to at the upcoming National Conference. Russell Moore will deliver a plenary talk…Continue Reading
The Beauty of Holiness and the Miracle of Sanctification
Puritan Thomas Watson says it well. “After the fall, the affections were misplaced on wrong objects; in sanctification, they are turned into a sweet order and harmony, the grief placed on sin, the love on God, the joy on heaven.”*
Regeneration is the awakening and enlivening of the spiritual heart, and sanctification is the ongoing work of recalibrating the affections to cherish what God cherishes. And because we are becoming…Continue Reading
We Become What We Worship
Greg Beale titled his landmark book We Become What We Worship. His thesis is simple: “What people revere, they resemble, either for ruin or for restoration.” He traces the theme throughout Scripture to show that we are worshippers, and that our worship exposes us and changes us. We either revere the world and are conformed to the sinful patterns of the world, or we revere God and are progressively…Continue Reading
A Pastor's Monday
Mondays are notoriously difficult for pastors. If you are not a pastor, pray for your pastor today as you read through this post. If you are a pastor, listen to the words of pastor Jared Wilson as he describes the structure of his Mondays, along with the personal challenges he faces as another week begins. Here’s what he writes:
The fatigue begins for me as soon as the sermon is…
Speaking the Truth In Love
For much of my Christian life I have had a one-sided view of “speaking the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15). I assumed that the verse meant only that when hard news or rebuke needed to be brought, it should be done with tenderness and sensitivity. I was wrong.
Not totally wrong. I understood correctly the verb and the love: that hard news and rebuke should always be brought with appropriate…Continue Reading
Free Song Download from Andrew Peterson's New Album
At the beginning of the month we announced that Andrew Peterson will be in concert at Bethlehem Baptist Church on Thursday night, September 27 (tickets here). Peterson's new album, Light for the Lost Boy, releases on August 28.
In light of the upcoming album release we have been given permission to offer track 3, "Rest Easy," to our blog readers. You can download it here, or…Continue Reading
Art Contest Voting Begins
We received 153 designs in the Act the Miracle art contest. They came in from all over the world and in all forms and shapes and colors. We initially considered whittling the entries down to the top 10 to simplify the contest, but there were so many excellent designs that we decided to post them all online so you can vote on the entire collection. And now you can.