The Crisis of History Deepens

Jonathan Parnell

Lesslie Newbigin writes:

Once the gospel is preached and there is a community which lives by the gospel, then the question of the ultimate meaning of history is posed and other messiahs appear. So the crisis of history is deepened (The Gospel in a Pluralistic Society, [Grand Rapids: Baker, 1989], 122, paragraphing mine).

The advance of the gospel deepens the crisis of history. Newbigin's explanation here is fascinating. Before people are confronted with the gospel, we are... Continue Reading

The Power of the Devil Is Alarming

Josh Etter
The Power of the Devil Is Alarming

Martyn Lloyd-Jones writes:

The power of the devil is alarming. Our Lord says to Peter, Satan has desired to have you, that he may sift you like wheat. These are indications of his tremendous power. But perhaps the ultimate proof of the power, and the confidence, and the ability of the devil, is to be found in the fact that he did not hesitate to tempt and to attack even the Son of God himself. He approached him with confidence, with assurance, for he had defeated all... Continue Reading

Beware of Mirrors

Jon Bloom
Beware of Mirrors

Remember the story of Narcissus? He’s the proud, beautiful man in the Greek myth who saw his reflection in a pool, fell in love with it, couldn’t tear himself away, and it killed him.

Mirrors are very dangerous for proud people. Believe me. I speak from experience.

But mirrors present most of us with a different danger than Narcissus. When we look into a mirror we do not see enchanting beauty, nor do we see the glory of God imaging forth in the indescribably complex, ingenious, phenomenal,... Continue Reading

Two Tensions in Edwards’s View of History

Joe Rigney
Two Tensions in Edwards’s View of History

One of the great challenges for those of us who love and embrace “the supremacy of God in all things” is to push this glorious truth into the corners. We must get specific. The supremacy of God in science. The supremacy of God in technology. The supremacy of God in literature. And, in light of our reflections on Jonathan Edwards’s “A History of the Work of Redemption,” the supremacy of God in history.

In addition to what we’ve seen so far, Edwards also helpfully... Continue Reading

Learning to Thrive at College

Alex Chediak

College should be a temporary season of academic preparation and personal growth to propel a lifetime of effective service to God and neighbor. It should be a launching pad into all that goes with responsible Christian adulthood. Yet for some, it’s a time when they abandon the Christian faith, displaying that they never really belonged to Christ (1 John 2:19). For others, their faith remains intact, but they waste their college lives with video games, partying, and other... Continue Reading

Four Waves of Change in Missions

John Piper
Four Waves of Change in Missions

If God would be pleased to breathe on the ripples from the pebbles these speakers drop at our conference this year, they might become waves that break over thousands of lives and churches. The waves I am praying for are:

Wave #1: Putting world evangelization into the passions of a new generation.

Missional is the in word today. But missions is not always in the word. Missions means crossing an ethno-linguistic barrier (that may take 20 years) in order to root the gospel in a... Continue Reading

Luther on Five Actions for Struggling Believers

Jonathan Parnell
Luther on Five Actions for Struggling Believers

Jerome Weller was a theology student under Martin Luther's direct influence, living in his home and tutoring his children for nearly a decade. In July 1530, Luther wrote a letter of advice to Weller who was in the midst of a depression.

. . . Excellent Jerome, You ought to rejoice in this temptation of the devil because it is a certain sign that God is propitious and merciful to you. You say that the temptation is heavier than you can bear, and that you fear... Continue Reading

Five "Benefits" of Unforgiveness (Then the Better Way)

Paul Tripp
Five "Benefits" of Unforgiveness (Then the Better Way)

Why don’t people just forgive? That is a very good question. If forgiveness is easier and more beneficial, why isn’t it more popular? The sad reality is that there is short-term, relationally destructive power in refusing to forgive. Holding onto the other's wrongs gives us the upper hand in our relationship. We keep a record of wrongs because we are not motivated by what honors God and is best for others but by what is expedient for ourselves.

Five Dark... Continue Reading

The Authority of Preaching for Readers and Non-Readers

John Piper
The Authority of Preaching for Readers and Non-Readers

The authority of preaching is rooted finally in the absolute authority of God. That root passes through the infallible Word of God, the Bible. This book is the only access we have today to an infallible message from God.

Therefore authority is not intrinsic to the preacher. It is intrinsic only to God and his written word. Only the scriptures are “inspired” infallibly by God (2 Timothy 3:16). Preachers may be inspiring, but we are not inspired in this... Continue Reading

Three Objections to Fairy Tales and C. S. Lewis's Response

Joe Rigney
Three Objections to Fairy Tales and C. S. Lewis's Response

C.S. Lewis loved fairy stories. He thoroughly believed that “sometimes fairy stories say best what needs to be said” (the title of one of his essays). And, as we’ve seen, Lewis rejected the modern association of fairy tales with children. Adults can and should enjoy fairy stories.

But Lewis was aware that many regarded fairy stories as unsuitable even for children. In “On Three Ways of Writing for Children,” he sets out to defend the fairy tale against... Continue Reading