Prefer God in Lived-Out Reality

Jonathan Parnell
Prefer God in Lived-Out Reality

The Bible tells us that God knows the hearts of all men and that he even fashioned them himself (1 Kings 8:39; Acts 1:24; Psalm 33:15). But then why are there tests, like in Abraham's case in Genesis 22:1-2? If God knew Abraham's heart and what he would do, what was the point in having him climb the mountain and lay Isaac on the altar?

John Piper writes:

God wills to know the actual, lived-out reality of our preference for him over all things. And he wills that we have the... Continue Reading

Five Purposes of God in the Work of Redemption

Joe Rigney
Five Purposes of God in the Work of Redemption

The final portion of Jonathan Edwards’ first sermon on “A History of the Work of Redemption” relates five designs of God in the great work that he carries on from the fall to the end of the world.

  1. According to 1 Corinthians 15:25 and 1 John 3:8, “one great design of God in the affair of redemption was to reduce and subdue those enemies of God till they should all be put under God's feet.”
  2. God’s design was “perfectly to restore all the ruins of the fall,”... Continue Reading

Communion with God Demands Union with Christ

Jonathan Parnell
Communion with God Demands Union with Christ

John Newton writes about the centrality of Christ in our fellowship with God:

Communion presupposes union. By nature we are strangers, yea, enemies to God; but we are reconciled, brought nigh, and become his children, by faith in Christ Jesus. We can have no true knowledge of God, desire towards him, access unto him, or gracious communications from him, but in and through the Son of his love.

He is the medium of this inestimable privilege: for he is the way, the... Continue Reading

Wayne Grudem on Christian Beliefs

Jonathan Parnell

Clear Cut Media has recently produced a new discipleship resource by Wayne Grudem on 20 basic questions about Christian theology.

Each lecture is 40 minutes, with an additional 15 minutes of Q&A. The videos can be downloaded individually from Clear Cut Media, or purchased at their online store. Their website also features a course overview, contents of each session, and ideas of how to use the resource.

For the month of July, they're offering this DVD set at 50% off the... Continue Reading

Joy to the World (via Malawi)

Tyler Kenney
Joy to the World (via Malawi)

Since 2008, Joy to the World Ministries (JTW) has been organizing the Chosen Generation Missions Conference in Malawi, Africa. This conference has the primary goal of awakening a passion for global missions among African Christians, especially the youngpeople.

On behalf of JTW, we would like to invite the global church to pray with us for the fourth Chosen Generation Missions Conference, which will be held from July 6-10, 2011. (Read the invitation [PDF].)

The theme of this year’s... Continue Reading

Disappointed by Jesus

Jon Bloom
Disappointed by Jesus

How does God want us to deal with the emotion we call disappointment?

Joseph Barsabbas was disappointed by Jesus. Joseph was a candidate to replace Judas Iscariot as one of the Twelve, but when the lot was cast it “fell on Matthias” (Acts 1:26). I’ll bet that was a blow.

The Bible never mentions Joseph again. But tradition says he later became the Bishop of Eleutheropolis (32 miles southwest of Jerusalem) and died a martyr. Assuming that’s accurate, imagine what Joseph may have learned... Continue Reading

Finding Care in the Calamity of Gay Pride

John Piper
Finding Care in the Calamity of Gay Pride

For those caught in the calamity of the normalization, celebration, and institutionalization of homosexual behavior, there are resources for help. Today let me just mention one cluster.

Probably the most authoritative scholarly work on homosexuality and the Bible is Robert Gagnon, The Bible and Homosexual Practice (Abingdon, 2001). Educated at Dartmouth and Harvard Divinity School, Gagnon teaches at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

He has a web site, ... Continue Reading

“My Eyes Shed Streams of Tears”—
Thoughts on the New Calamity

John Piper
&ldquo;My Eyes Shed Streams of Tears&rdquo;&mdash;<br />Thoughts on the New Calamity

Jesus died so that heterosexual and homosexual sinners might be saved. Jesus created sexuality, and has a clear will for how it is to be experienced in holiness and joy.

His will is that a man might leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, and that the two become one flesh (Mark 10:6-9). In this union, sexuality finds its God-appointed meaning, whether in personal-physical unification, symbolic representation, sensual jubilation, or... Continue Reading

We Don't Want to Live at Second Hand

Jonathan Parnell

Helmut Thielicke's A Little Exercise for Young Theologians was written for nascent theology students in the mid-twentieth century, but it really applies to us all now. In 1959 the academic institutions of these "young theologians" introduced them to theological truths that are only clicks away from us today. The accessibility we have in the West to theological resources is astounding. And it's also dangerous.

The mind moves a little faster than the heart. It's easier for... Continue Reading

Eternal and Temporal Goals of the Gospel

John Piper
Eternal and Temporal Goals of the Gospel

J. C. Ryle quoted Whitefield about the social effects of the gospel:

The gospel keeps many a person from going to jail and from being hanged, if it does not keep him from hell (Thoughts For Young Men, Kindle edition, locations 632-633).

True.

But what needs to be stressed today, especially for young preachers is this: Yes, but as soon as the gospel is preached mainly for these temporal ends it will lose even that power.

Only by keeping the eternal goal of the Gospel... Continue Reading