The Sovereign God of “Elfland” (Why Chesterton’s Anti-Calvinism Doesn’t Put Me Off)

John Piper
The Sovereign God of “Elfland” (Why Chesterton’s Anti-Calvinism Doesn’t Put Me Off)

Ever since my days at Wheaton College, when I followed Clyde Kilby’s advice to read G. K. Chesterton’s Orthodoxy, it has been one of my favorite books. I think it’s the only book I have read more than twice (except for the Bible).

This is strange. Not only was Chesterton a Roman Catholic, he also hated Calvinism. So what’s up with me and Orthodoxy? I still think at least half a dozen Roman Catholic distinctives are harmful to... Continue Reading

Fear, Risk, and the Church's Mission

Jonathan Parnell

Seth Godin:

Fitzgerald nailed it when he described Jay Gatsby’s attitude: “What would be the use of doing great things if I could have a better time telling her what I was going to do?” It’s easy to fall so in love with the idea of starting that we never actually start. (Poke the Box,75)

One of Godin’s goals in this little book is to expose the truth about failure — it's not as bad as we all think.

And yet, the fear of failure is paralyzing. It's the great deterrent to our... Continue Reading

The Pastor's Role in World Evangelization

Jonathan Parnell
The Pastor's Role in World Evangelization

Pastor John:

What then should a pastor do to promote a passion among his people to see God glorified by the in-gathering of his sheep from the thousands of unreached people groups around the world?

My answer: above everything else, be the kind of person and the kind of preacher whose theme and passion is the majesty of God. . . .

The most important thing I think pastors can do to arouse and sustain a passion for world evangelization is week in and week out to help... Continue Reading

Russell Moore on the Person of Christ

Jonathan Parnell

The newest episode of Theology Refresh features a discussion with Russell Moore on the person of Christ.

The doctrine of the person of Jesus — fully God, fully man, one person with two natures — has everything to do with how we live.

In this 14-minute audio Moore encourages pastors that Jesus is with us, that he really does shoulder with us everything it means to be human.

Stream or download the podcast.

[Subscribe to Theology Refresh through iTunes.]


More episodes of... Continue Reading

Planning for Spiritual Necessities in 2012

Josh Etter
Planning for Spiritual Necessities in 2012

Pastor John:

All of us know this and practice it in relation to the basic physical necessities of life. We take steps to see that we have enough to eat and clothes to keep us warm. But do we take our spiritual needs that seriously? Do we apply the same earnestness in planning to maximize our ministry as we do in planning to make a living?

What I would like to do here is to try to persuade you to set aside time each week in the coming year to plan—and specifically to... Continue Reading

A System for Praying in 2012

Jonathan Parnell

The New Year is a great time to reconfigure the way we do things. And it can be a bit overwhelming.

Diet, exercise, memorization habits, reading lists, time management — all this is good. But perhaps the best place to start — and the foundation to all the rest — is the primary means of grace in the Christian life, the Word and prayer.

For the Word, Justin Taylor has put together a great list of Bible reading plans to consider. As for prayer, you might also find that some... Continue Reading

A Comforting Message for the Closing Year

Jonathan Parnell
A Comforting Message for the Closing Year

Charles Spurgeon:

But here is the joy, here is the peace of Christians, that our salvation is a finished one! We have not a farthing to pay to complete the ransom of our souls. We have not a stitch to set to finish the robe of our salvation. We have not an act to perform, a prayer to offer, a tear to weep, a thought to think in order to finish the work of our redemption! I know that all these things shall be worked in us and, that by the Spirit of God we shall be... Continue Reading

A Word for Those Who Have Forsaken Jesus

John Piper
A Word for Those Who Have Forsaken Jesus

How eager Jesus was to restore broken fellowship with his apostles after the resurrection! Surely this is a sign of how eager he is to restore us when we have drifted (or bolted) away.

All the apostles had forsaken him. In the garden, at his most sorrowful hour, "They all left him and fled” (Mark 14:50).

Now he was raised. What would he say to those who had abandoned him? Three healing things:

  1. To Mary at the tomb: “Go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to... Continue Reading