Captured by God’s Beauty

Tony Reinke

Jonathan Edwards (1703–1758) has been called one of America’s greatest artists, an innovator who painted with ideas.

“There are many reasons to regard Edwards as an original and venturesome thinker,” claims Michael McClymond in his landmark book The Theology of Jonathan Edwards. “Yet his placement of beauty at the heart of his theology may have been the boldest stroke of all.”

The mind of Edwards, and the writings of Edwards, are unintelligible without the concept of beauty — because…

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Ten Reasons to Memorize Big Chunks of the Bible

Jon Bloom

You can memorize big chunks, even books, of the Bible. Unless you’re part of the very small percentage of us who suffer from a traumatic brain injury or stroke or disability, you really can. And you should. But why should you?

1. Because you have a bad memory.

Don’t say you can’t memorize because you have a bad memory. That’s why you need to memorize. I have a bad memory too. I think it’s worse than average — seriously. I…

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Getting Clear on Evangelism

Jonathan Parnell

We might have evangelism mixed up.

When evangelism is often discussed, it tends to focus on how churches mobilize their people to get out and connect with unbelievers. But when we think in these terms, the definition of evangelism can be mistaken as a maneuver, rather than proclamation.

To evangelize, explains pastor Jeff Vanderstelt, simply means to herald the good news of Jesus. The evangelist, or messenger, is the one who says,

Jesus has come and preached good news. Jesus…

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True Kinship in God’s Family

Nick Roen

Recently, I had the amazing joy of welcoming into the world my newest niece and nephew. It’s a privilege beyond measure to be called an uncle.

However, by all natural accounts, this is an impossible reality because I only have one legal sibling, and she has never had a child. How can this be?

The Hundredfold Family

As a Christian struggling with same-sex attraction, the topic of family has long been a bit of a sore spot for me. Because…

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Good News: You Can’t Do It

Matthew Barrett

It’s common practice among some Christians to say, “You must be born again,” in such a way that it is equivalent to the command to repent and trust in Christ. However, as Sinclair Ferguson reminds us, these Christians wrongly assume that the new birth “is something we must do.” It’s not.

“In the New Testament,” says Ferguson, “new birth is something God gives. The point of the metaphor lies in the fact that the new birth is not something we…

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Finding Joy in the Clouds

Vaneetha Rendall Demski

A few months ago, I made a startling discovery.

In Scripture, clouds are associated with the very presence of God.

Before my surprising insight, my view of clouds had been entirely negative. I’d never liked cloudy days, especially when they were accompanied by storms. I like clear days and sunshine, blue skies and smooth sailing.

But as I was reading Exodus, I was amazed to see that clouds always brought with them God’s nearness. In the wilderness, the Israelites recognized…

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Soul Food for Mom

Gloria Furman

Is it normal to wander into the kitchen and open the refrigerator multiple times while you are standing there? (I’m asking for a friend.)

It’s a mindless, yet hopeful habit. Who knows? Maybe something new to eat will appear when that little light comes on again.

In a similar manner, I tend to treat the Bible like a fridge. Sometimes I stare at the words, and I can’t see that the light is shining because I’ve forgotten what I was…

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Don’t Give Up on Don

Marshall Segal

This weekend, in an interview with Anderson Cooper, Donald Sterling has asked for forgiveness.

Now, you won’t have to listen to the interview very long before you’ll be tempted to raise questions about the depth of his remorse and contrition. It certainly doesn’t help his cause that he’s immediately shoving blame onto his mistress. It will be easy to hurry to conclusions about his “confession,” but I want to remind believers of the weighty and joyful responsibility we have…

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When Waiting Doesn’t Work

Jon Bloom

Fifty-one years ago this spring, thirty-four-year-old Martin Luther King, Jr. sat in a Birmingham jail cell, technically because he had been “parading without a permit.” But that was a sham. Everyone knew it. He was in jail because he had led thousands in a non-violent protest against unjust and dehumanizing laws of racial segregation in Alabama.

Sitting in the cell, Dr. King read an open letter in a newspaper by eight white Christian and Jewish religious leaders titled, “A

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The Long Arc of Real Love

Jonathan Parnell

Packed away in the laundry room of my basement, off the beaten paths of normal household traffic, smashed together with the dried-up ladybugs and an occasional spider, are twenty garbage bags filled with toys.

They belong to our kids.

A few weeks ago, after more than one prophetic notice, my wife and I packed up every single toy in our house. Our gentle, shepherding efforts, so often used to break up fights over My Little Ponies, reached the tipping point.…

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