Blog Posts by Tony Reinke

God’s Pleasure in You

Tony Reinke

Does God find pleasure in you?

When he looks at you, does he smile?

In short, if you’re in Christ, the answer is yes. But the answer to how and why and on what basis needs some explaining.

We can break God’s delight for the redeemed into three categories: (1) a delight in election, (2) a delight in redemption, and (3) a delight in holiness.

1. Delight in Election

Continue Reading

A Beer with Jesus?

Tony Reinke

Is it a sin for me to drink alcohol?

It could be, says Pastor John in today’s episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast.

“I’m a default teetotaler,” he says. “And what that means is if I have my choice, I don’t drink alcohol, but I might, to be a good guest. . . . But I don’t think anybody can make a case from Scripture that teetotalism is required.”

Continue Reading

Why Did God Forbid One Tree in Eden?

Tony Reinke

Of the many trees in the Garden, God banned Adam and Eve from eating from one — just one (Genesis 2:16–17, 3:1–3, 11). Why?

John Piper recently gave the question some fresh thinking, which he shares in today’s episode of Ask Pastor John:

The function of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is to make sure that the pleasures of all the other trees in the garden…

Continue Reading

Cooking for a King: The Story of Jeff Ansorge

Tony Reinke

ST. PAUL, MN — Jeff Ansorge is a trim 40-year-old with buzzed hair and sideburns that are mostly silver and thick eyebrows that are mostly black. He’s a quiet, t-shirted Midwestern guy who can be found on any weekday hard at work in the Salvation Army soup kitchen in northeast St. Paul, Minnesota.

Every weekday morning, Jeff fills an echoing, cinder-block gymnasium with folding chairs and utility tables as he…

Continue Reading

15 Quotes from the C.S. Lewis Conference

Tony Reinke

As we finish uploading all the audio and video of the C.S. Lewis conference online for you in the next few hours, here’s a sampling of fifteen quotes from the conference talks that caught our attention. These will give you a flavor of what to expect when you enjoy the conference recordings for yourself (soon).

UPDATE: All the conference media is now available.


Douglas Gresham, conference introduction video —

Continue Reading

The Church and the World: Homosexuality, Abortion, and Race with John Piper and Douglas Wilson

Tony Reinke

All the hot-button topics were on the table Sunday night in downtown Minneapolis. Bethlehem College and Seminary hosted a dialogue on Christ and culture with John Piper and Douglas Wilson, moderated by Joe Rigney. The video is now available.

Early on, the conversation turned to slavery, racism, and Wilson’s controversial stance which sparked a lengthy online debate with Thabiti Anyabwile just months ago. Piper, who closely followed the entire debate,…

Continue Reading

A Biblical Theology of Love

Tony Reinke

Love is at the heart of the Bible.

God loved us so much he sent his only be-loved Son to love us by blood, so that we would likewise love and treasure this be-loved Son (John 3:16, Revelation 1:5).

But that doesn’t tell the full story. On the cross, Christ initiated a love to break our love-less sin, to gift us with new hearts, and to make…

Continue Reading

Does God (Really) Desire All to Be Saved?

Tony Reinke

On the extent of who will be saved, the Bible makes two clear points:

  1. God desires that all sinners be saved (1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9; Ezekiel 18:23; Matthew 23:37).
  2. God chose some people from eternity past (the elect), to be saved unconditionally, and only those elect will genuinely respond to the gospel and be saved (Matthew 22:14; John 6:37, 44, 65; 8:47; 10:26–29; Romans 8:29–30; 9:6–23; 11:5–10; 1…
Continue Reading

20 Quotes from Walking with God through Pain and Suffering

Tony Reinke

Tim Keller has written one of the year’s most important books (a line I seem to recite annually). His newest — Walking with God through Pain and Suffering — is a wise, Christ-centered, comforting book for readers who hurt, and offers counsel to readers who anticipate future suffering. It’s a book for everyone, and it releases tomorrow from Dutton.

To mark its arrival, I pulled my favorite quotes from the…

Continue Reading

Jack’s Typewriter

Tony Reinke

Thankfully you never saw our big mistake in the C.S. Lewis conference trailer.

For the video we hired an actor to play Lewis, to walk through a garden, to look into the sky, and to read a book in a high-back chair.

But one scene nobody saw was Lewis at his typewriter, not because we didn’t accidentally film the scene (and delete it later), but because such a scene never…

Continue Reading

20 Quotes from the Gospel Transformation Bible

Tony Reinke

In about a week, Crossway releases the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible.

Created and edited by Bryan Chapell and Dane Ortlund, the new study Bible is filled with valuable notes from fifty contributors with the overall aim of helping students of Scripture read the Bible under the glorious light of Christ’s death and resurrection.

As the title indicates, the aim is personal transformation through gospel-centered motivation. And to give you…

Continue Reading

For the Church, by the Church

Tony Reinke

Local churches face the challenge of training Christians for local ministry and developing new leaders, but with limited resources.

Stepping up to help is the Porterbrook Network, a global theological training ministry based in the United Kingdom and founded by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis. Both men are seasoned authors, church planters, and pastors; and Timmis serves as the Director of Acts 29 Europe.

The Porterbrook Network has developed a…

Continue Reading

Dragons and Holiness

Tony Reinke

The incredible imaginative power of the human mind connects us.

For example, if I mention standing ankle deep in the ocean, many of you can picture this (and maybe feel the dizziness as you watch the water rush past your feet).

Or if I mention the feeling of floating free under water in a swimming pool with eyes open, many of you know this feeling, too.

Or if I mention…

Continue Reading

The Art of Motivation

Tony Reinke

Motivating people to serve is not an easy task. Ask any Christian leader.

So what’s the key?

This was a question from Josh (a pastor), to John Piper, in today’s Ask Pastor John podcast.

Motivation is an art, and like any art it requires wisdom and skill. And like any art, it can be done poorly. An agitated verbal assault from the pulpit may be an awkward spectacle that goes…

Continue Reading

What Your Passions Say About You

Tony Reinke

Actions speak louder than words — but desires speak loudest.

The pursuit of pleasure is what drives all our actions and decisions, driving us into relationships, driving us to watch football, driving us toward excellence at work. We authentically pursue what we are convinced will bring us pleasure.

John Bunyan was a pastor who spent considerable time thinking about how pleasures operate in our lives. In one of his sermons…

Continue Reading

Your Life in God’s Theater

Tony Reinke

Theology is inherently theatrical — there’s a stage (creation), a script (Scripture), a main Actor (our Triune God), secondary actors (the Church), and a historical plot (creation, fall, redemption, and restoration). Which is to say the work of theology is more than the right formulation of orthodox principles. By following the contours of redemptive history, theology serves the Church by helping her understand her identity and role in the world,…

Continue Reading

Work Like an Arminian, Sleep Like a Calvinist?

Tony Reinke

It was the topic of Ask Pastor John episode 143, and it became the most played episode we released in the last two weeks.

The slogan, “work like an Arminian, sleep like a Calvinist,” initially may sound humorous, but it’s also unhelpful, says Pastor John.

The reason I don’t like saying, “work like an Arminian, sleep like a Calvinist,” is because I think it’s misleading. . . . It…

Continue Reading

Why We Really Sleep In

Tony Reinke

Recent studies say hitting the snooze button is bad for our bodies. But studies won’t get us out of bed.

Elise Snickers was a college student pursuing a career in a psychology when she wrote a letter to 54-year-old C.S. Lewis to ask the question: Can personal sin be avoided — or “cured” — by proving to a patient the un-reasonableness of the sin? In other words, can a discovery…

Continue Reading

Take Christ As Your Motto

Tony Reinke

Wikipedia can be misleading.

August 4, not July 24, marks the annual birthday of slave trader-turned-pastor John Newton (1725–1807). The date change is due to an 11-day shift in the calendar adopted in 1750 which pushed all previous dates forward.

So for most of his life, August 4 marked Newton’s birthday, a day set aside, not for feasting and parties, but for fasting, solemn prayer, and Godward praise.

An Enduring

Continue Reading

Porn, Pride, and Praise

Tony Reinke

According to a study by Covenant Eyes, roughly half of all professing Christian men and one-fifth of all professing Christian women admit to being porn addicts. Other reports indicate the problem could be even more extensive. Whatever the exact numbers, porn is a problem, a growing problem, and an increasingly accessible problem.

“The Internet is the crack cocaine of pornography,” says Heath Lambert, author of the forthcoming book, Finally Free:

Continue Reading

Desiring God for God

Tony Reinke

Green Mount Cemetery is a 174-year-old, 60-acre plot of land in downtown Baltimore. It stands like a fortress, separated from the city and her bustle by a thick stone wall perimeter. Through a narrow stone archway entrance and inside the wall, street noise fades and time seems to stop, and acres of rolling hills and stone ornaments rise into the sky.

The sea of memorials are scrubbed old by the…

Continue Reading

J.I. Packer’s Conversion

Tony Reinke

Just this week, J.I. Packer celebrated his 87th birthday. We asked him to explain the formative role and influence of C.S. Lewis’s writings on his teen years, his conversion, and his later ministry, which he explains in this three-minute video.

A special early-bird rate for the Desiring God 2013 National Conference on C.S. Lewis ends at 11:59pm Friday night.


More on C.S. Lewis from Desiring God:

Continue Reading

Trayvon, Race, and Gospel Ministry (Ask Pastor John)

Tony Reinke

Excepting a few tweeted links to various articles, Pastor John didn’t write anything new himself in the wake of the George Zimmerman verdict in the Trayvon Martin case.

In a Q&A discussion this week at the Campus Outreach Global Staff Conference in Orlando, a group of African American ministry leaders asked him why he chose not to respond. We served up the same question to him, and he responded from…

Continue Reading

Patriotism and the Pilgrim

Tony Reinke

Today is July 4th — Independence Day here in the United States. And recently an Ask Pastor John podcast listener emailed to ask: “Pastor John, obviously, as Christians, we are to live as pilgrims on this earth. But is there an appropriate place in the Christian life for patriotism?”

Pastor John says “yes,” and explains why, in today’s episode:

Continue Reading