Many of you reading this are living alongside us in a post-Christian Western culture. One where the term evangelism is a bit outdated and to be missional is in vogue. Europe and North America have become more and more like a mission field—but a post-Christian, rather than pre-Christian field. We now need a more missions-like engagement even on battleground here on the home front.
There are pros and cons to the missional mindset. Our churches must pursue mission among our own people. There is always an intensifying need for the gospel around us. The danger is focusing exclusively on this to the neglect of the nations.
We can’t be truly missional without preserving a place for, and giving …
This article first appeared in the January 2011 issue of The Banner of Truth Magazine. Reprinted here by permission.
One of the more remarkable facts about the history of the church is that some of its most significant events were barely noticed at the time of their occurrence. Examples are not hard to find. In the early church, for instance, the attention of the most powerful inhabitants of the Roman Empire was focused on the political and military accomplishments of their day and they gave scant attention to the persecuted band of men called “apostles.” Yet two thousand years later it is clear that, by the grace of God, those twelve men had a far more powerful impact than anything the Ro…
When he was in South Africa in October, alongside giving his message at Lausanne, John Piper spoke at two smaller conferences: Piper 2 Leaders, and Rezolution 2010. We posted the audio of these Piper messages at that time.
Mr. Mbewe isn't sure why listeners compare him to the British "Prince of Preachers." Perhaps it is because Mr…
Last year David Mathis outlined several good plans for people wanting to read through the Bible in a year. They're worth mentioning again, so I have reproduced the list (with minor updates) below.
Of course, there are tons of other plans out there. Just google "Bible reading plan" and you'll get pages of results of all different kinds, for personalities and lifestyles and needs of all different kinds.
[Update: Justin Taylor's post today brings together some great content on Bible reading plans and offers more detail on a few of them in particular.]
Bible Reading Plans
NavPress’s Discipleship Journal plan has been the most used at Bethlehem for years. There are …
In reflecting back on 2010 at year’s end, here are what I’d call “the top 5 books I read” (in order of author’s last name):
|Gospel in Life by Tim Keller|
It’s not a typical read-it-on-your-own book, but specially designed for small-group study. Our weekly small group tackled the 8 sessions together this Fall. Each session has a “home study” (nice way of saying “homework”) and a 10-minute video lesson by Keller on the accompanying DVD. The topics are great, the content is outstanding, and the study guide is very well done.
|The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses by C. S. Lewis|
This was a re-read, but I couldn’t help mentioning it here. And it’s not just “The Weight of Glory” essay t…
The last week of the year is a good time—with God's help—to reflect on the past 12 months, do a little self-assessment, and decide what things to repent of and reach for in the next lap around the sun.
At the end of his first year as pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church, John Piper led his people in doing this through his sermon "I Have Kept the Faith."
Below is the conclusion of that sermon. Just plug in "2010" and "2011" where you read "1980" and "1981," and the content is still relevant 30 years later.
So, how did we do in 1980? If 1980 were the whole of our life, could we say with Paul, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth ther…
In Miscellanies #191, Jonathan Edwards defines free grace as the kind of grace in which "the abundance of the benevolence of the giver is expressed, and gratitude in the receiver is obliged." Then he outlines three ways through which this kind of grace—which he also calls gospel grace—is realized (spacing and italics added):
Now I think these three things do constitute the freedom of grace. . .
(1) When the gift is to an offender, without satisfaction paid by him. . . .
(2) When 'tis given without retribution by way of condition, or without the receiver's profiting or pleasuring the giver. . . .
(3) When 'tis given without our worthiness; I mean without that excellency in our persons or …
When has a preacher crossed the line into plagiarism in his sermon?
Matt Perman, senior director of strategy at DG, has posted his response today at The Gospel Coalition Blog. It follows in a series on plagiarism that began earlier this week, which also includes posts by Don Carson, Sandy Willson, Tim Keller, Glenn Lucke and Collin Hansen (the last two forthcoming; read Hansen's introduction to the series).
After explaining his answer, Matt gives this encouraging takeaway:
Just be free about letting people know the sources of your ideas and where you have learned things. This doesn’t diminish your credibility at all, and in fact benefits your listeners and the church by letting peopl…