If Billy Graham Had Been a Pastor

David Mathis
If Billy Graham Had Been a Pastor

Billy Graham once was asked, “If you were a pastor of a large church in a principal city, what would be your plan of action?”

In the modern-day classic The Master Plan of Evangelism (which has gone through over 100 printings since it was first published in 1963), Robert Coleman reproduces Graham’s response, perhaps a surprising answer to many:

I think one of the first things I would do would be to a get a small group of eight or ten or twelve people around me that would meet... Continue Reading

Islam, Fear, and the Gospel’s Demand

Ted Esler
Islam, Fear, and the Gospel’s Demand

I have a friend who works in a country where Islamic law governs life. The small house church he had established was in the hands of national leadership, and he was not present when the religious police broke in and arrested the entire church, sentencing all of the men to prison.

One day soon after, an angry mob assembled at the local mosque and marched toward my friend’s home. He gathered his wife and children together, locked the doors, shuttered the windows, and went... Continue Reading

The Nature of Conversion, Then and Now

Tyler Kenney
The Nature of Conversion, Then and Now

I am now convinced, that conversion under the old [covenant] was not only the same in general with what it is commonly under the new, but much more like it as to the particular way and manner, than I used to think.

Among the children of Israel, there was always without doubt two sorts of persons, wicked and godly, and there used to be as manifest a difference between these two as there is now. It appears that the wicked were the same as they are now: vain, profane,... Continue Reading

God, Make Us Desperate!

Jon Bloom

A few days ago I listened to a sermon by a man who is preparing to lead a missionary team that will plant itself into one of the least reached nations in the world.

The most optimistic estimates of the number of indigenous Christians in this nation is less than the number of people who attend Bethlehem Baptist Church on a Sunday morning. A lot less.

Listening to him was like listening to the writer of Hebrews. This man knows what he’s getting into. He’s planted a church in this nation... Continue Reading

Keith Green

Jon Bloom
Keith Green

Today, July 28th, marks the 28th anniversary of the plane crash that killed Christian singer/songwriter and evangelist, Keith Green. He was 28 years old. Also lost in that crash were two of Keith’s children (Josiah & Bethany), the pilot (Don Burmeister), and an entire family (John & Dede Smalley and their six children).

I clearly remember July 28, 1982. I had just turned 17 and only recently had discovered Keith’s music. He was unlike anyone I had ever heard. It wasn’t music that drew me... Continue Reading

The Nowism of the Gospel

Paul Tripp
The Nowism of the Gospel

Jason sat in front of me with the head-down, humped-shouldered posture of a confused and disappointed man. It wasn't that Jason's life had been a sad narrative of personal suffering. Sure, he had faced some hard things, but they were the typical things that you face when you're living in a world that has been broken by sin. It wasn't that Jason was alienated and friendless. He was surrounded by a group of less than perfect, but pretty faithful companions. It wasn't that Jason was... Continue Reading

The Days of Darkness Will Be Many

Jon Bloom

One thing the Bible isn’t is utopist about life in this world. It gets unfairly criticized for encouraging a pessimism that makes people passive about doing anything to improve things; people who are “too heavenly minded to be any earthly good.”

Of course, that’s a lot of hogwash. History has shown that those who have a hope of heaven are far more likely than their agnostic or atheist neighbors to willingly make the personal sacrifices necessary to seriously address the... Continue Reading

When Justice Becomes Your Bodyguard

Tyler Kenney
When Justice Becomes Your Bodyguard

The redemption by Christ is particularly wonderful upon this account, inasmuch as the justice of God is not only appeased to those who have an interest in him, but stands up for them; is not only not an enemy but a friend, every whit as much as mercy.

Justice demands adoption and glorification, and importunes as much for it, as ever it did before for misery; in every respect that it is against the wicked, it is as much for the godly.

Yea, it is abundantly more so than it... Continue Reading

Being and Acting in Another

Jonathan Parnell

"Personal holiness"—what thoughts does this phrase engender?

If I had to guess, I would say your mind went to thinking about spiritual disciplines or moral performance. Or at least that's what mine did. The word "personal" has a way of making our brains forget God's self-attested holiness and focus only on our own, which we typically equate to nothing more than our conceived progress in fulfilling certain do's and don'ts.

Moral code can easily become our attempt to live up to... Continue Reading

The Harmony of All God's Decrees

Tyler Kenney
The Harmony of All God's Decrees

If God has already willed to send rain, then why pray for it? Or if God has chosen to save you, then why fight so hard against temptation?

Edwards gives his answer to questions like these in Miscellanies #29 (reformatted for readability):

God decrees all things harmoniously and in excellent order; one decree harmonizes with another, and there is such a relation between all the decrees as makes the most excellent order. Thus God decrees rain in drought because he decrees the... Continue Reading