Don’t Raise Good Kids

Jon Bloom
Don’t Raise Good Kids

Parents, don’t raise good kids. I’m a recovering good kid, and I’m here to tell you that the gospel isn’t for good kids.

I was pretty easy for my parents to raise. I was generally compliant, had a buoyant, warm personality, didn’t get into any serious trouble, was liked by my teachers for the most part, usually did respectably in school, was a leader in my church groups, and had plenty of friends. My adolescent, wild-oat sowing would only generate smirks and eye rolls.

My folks and most... Continue Reading

Why It Matters What Outsiders Think

David Mathis
Why It Matters What Outsiders Think

There is a place for a holy disregard for what unbelievers think. But it is small.

We shouldn’t be caught off guard when they “suppress the truth” (Romans 1:18) of God as creator and sustainer, as speaker (in the Scriptures), and as redeemer (in the gospel). We need not be bewildered when the world is the world. It’s to our shame when we forget that “we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in... Continue Reading

Praise: The Consummation of Joy

Sam Storms
Praise: The Consummation of Joy

My understanding of the nature of worship was radically transformed by a fundamental truth I found in C.S. Lewis, who died 50 years ago this month.

What Lewis helped me grasp is best explained by looking briefly at his own struggle with worship as he explained it in the essay titled, “A Word About Praising,” in his short book, Reflections on the Psalms, pages 90–98 in my worn, 1958 edition.

In a word, Lewis enabled me to recognize that not only was it permissible to enjoy God... Continue Reading

Piper Addresses Strange Fire and Charismatic Chaos

Tony Reinke
Piper Addresses Strange Fire and Charismatic Chaos

One month ago, John MacArthur hosted a conference titled “Strange Fire.” The conference opposed the so-called “prosperity gospel” and with it the excesses of “charismania.” But somewhere along the way all things charismatic and continuationist got swept up into the conference conversation, too, igniting a strange online conflagration of its own.

The conversation prompted a variety of questions from listeners of the Ask Pastor John podcast. Before boarding a... Continue Reading

We Are Far Too Easily Displeased

Jon Bloom
We Are Far Too Easily Displeased

Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world. (Philippians 2:14–15)

I am a grumbler by (fallen) nature.

Just this morning a malfunctioning software program required my attention. Experience told me the likely course: at least two times on the phone with customer support and at least two glitches in the fixing... Continue Reading

When the Sex Should Stop

Jonathan Parnell
When the Sex Should Stop

Sometimes sex should stop in marriage.

The sometimes is really important. Not all the time. It’s not what is normative or typical. It’s sometimes. And, at the same time, be sure that sometimes really means sometimes. Real times. These are actual moments, or seasons, that never present themselves as the anomaly they should prove to be in the long run. We’re talking about a tangible pause from sex, however brief and limited the stopping may be.

The biblical text on this topic is 1... Continue Reading

If Jesus Had Not Come

Tyler Kenney
If Jesus Had Not Come

Jesus was, is, and always will be in a league of his own.

Many are happy to honor him as a good teacher and social reformer, and some religions even admit that he was a great prophet of God. But none of them go far enough.

The Greatest Messenger

Jesus was not just another prophet like those who had come before him. Nor was he merely a great moralist and motivator. He was, and is, qualitatively different.

Jesus is, as the Father himself testified at his baptism and on the Mount of... Continue Reading

20 Verses for God-Centered Administrators

Sam Crabtree
20 Verses for God-Centered Administrators

God doesn’t need us. We need him.

Don’t get the roles reversed. We are not indispensable. He is.

This is an essential reminder for all of us — and especially those of us in heavily administrative and “executive” roles. We executives are supposed to execute, after all.

But as Christians, we know how finite, dependent, contingent we are. And we need to be reminded of it regularly and guard ourselves from subtly beginning to operate as if we really can execute on our... Continue Reading

Why We Click Stupid Links

Tony Reinke
Why We Click Stupid Links

By “stupid links,” I mean hyperlinks on the Web that do nothing but tap our kneejerk curiosity. They do little for us because they have little to offer. We click, we read, we watch, and often we feel dumber for it.

Such clamorous links litter the Internet, offering up celebrity gossip, bizarre crime stories, violent videos, and sexual images — each link asking for little more than a click (such a petty request).

So just how pervasive are these links? As I write, the CNN home page... Continue Reading

Go Deep in the Grace of God

David Mathis
Go Deep in the Grace of God

Christians, of all people, cannot be content with small visions of grace.

The message that made us is “the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24), “the word of his grace” (Acts 20:32), “the grace of God in truth” (Colossians 1:6). And the life we’re called to live happens in “this grace in which we stand” (Romans 5:2), as we’re “strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:1). It’s all undeserved, lavish favor from God.

So grace that is cheap, thin, and... Continue Reading