Serving: A Distraction to Listening?

Jon Bloom
Serving: A Distraction to Listening?

Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her. (Luke 10:42-42)

Jesus’ gracious rebuke to Martha haunts me.

"Martha was distracted with much serving" (Luke 10:40). But Mary "sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching" (Luke 10:39). Distraction is the enemy of listening. For Martha, at that moment, serving was a distraction. Serving became the enemy... Continue Reading

How Saints Grow Happier Forever

Tyler Kenney
How Saints Grow Happier Forever

Jonathan Edwards viewed heaven as a place where the joy of God's people will only increase forever and ever. (Sam Storms passionately unpacked this grand vision at our 2003 National Conference in his message "Joy's Eternal Increase: Edwards on the Beauty of Heaven.")

But why did Edwards think this? What will cause the saints' joy to constantly overflow and expand again and again into eternity? Edwards explains in Miscellanies #137:

The object of their thought shall be the... Continue Reading

A Few Endorsements for Wrestling with an Angel

John Knight
A Few Endorsements for <em>Wrestling with an Angel</em>

Greg Lucas is a dear friend who has contributed a gift to the Church in his new book Wrestling with an Angel: A Story of Love, Disability, and the Lesson of Grace.

Here's my endorsement of the book:

It is a rare book that makes much of God and our dependency on Him while also celebrating His goodness through hard things. Using his own example of parenting a child with significant disabilities, Greg demonstrates what relying on a sovereign God through extreme... Continue Reading

The Humility of Christ in Yielding the Vindication of His Identity

Jonathan Parnell

Philippians 2:5-8:

"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant,being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross."

This text is set apart in its description of Jesus becoming... Continue Reading

Henri Blocher On the Cross: Evil, Lordship, and Goodness

Jonathan Parnell

In Evil and the Cross, Henri Blocher writes about the tension that exists for the Christian regarding the existence of evil:

The evil of evil, the lordship of the Lord, the goodness of God: these three immovable propositions stand together as the basis of biblical doctrine. We can picture them as a capital T: the sovereignty of God forms the stem, the two branches being the denunciation of evil and the praise of God in his goodness. But the great... Continue Reading

Hearing the Gospel Again and Again to Be Overcome

Jonathan Parnell

1 Corinthians 15:1-5:

Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,... Continue Reading

The Command for Obedience is Really a Call to Faith

Jonathan Parnell

Both of my hands are gently gripped on the shoulders of my toddler. As I try to square up our eyes, she squirms and looks away. I say with a Spirit-empowered tenderness, “Elizabeth, obey your daddy.”

She doesn’t get this yet, but I am really calling her to faith in Jesus.

It goes this way: I tell her to not grab random cups off the table and drink out of them because I want to protect her from pouring hot coffee on herself. When she grabs cups off the table... Continue Reading

John Webster on the Givenness of Neighbors

Jonathan Parnell

The way we understand the occasion of such a thing as " neighbors" fundamentally changes our actions toward them. Here is one of the most helpful things I've read on the simple idea—we have neighbors.

In his book Holiness, John Webster writes:

Love involves my acknowledgement that I amobligedby my neighbor as a reality given to me by God, a reality which I would often like to evade but which encounters me with a transcendent imperative force.

Why is this... Continue Reading

Andrew Walls On Two Principles of the Gospel in Culture

Jonathan Parnell

In his essay "The Gospel as Prisoner and Liberator of Culture," Andrew Walls introduces two principles of the gospel's impact upon culture. These two principles express an aspect of the gospel's wonder that we should celebrate.There is nothing else like this in the universe.

The Indigenizing Principle

Walls writes:

Church history has always been a battleground for two opposing tendencies; and the reason is that each of the tendencies has its origin in... Continue Reading

Spoiled by the Grace of God

Tyler Kenney
Spoiled by the Grace of God

Where sin abounds with Achan at Jericho, grace abounds all the more at the defeat of Ai. And that abundant grace "spoils" the Israelites.

When God brings Israel back to Canaan to take possession of it, after being gone for 400 years in Egypt and 40 years in the wilderness, the first city they come to is Jericho. There God promises that he will give them victory: "See, I have given Jericho into your hand" (Joshua 6:2).

But there is one caveat to their destruction of Jericho:

The... Continue Reading