The Biblical Vision of Christian Ministry

David Mathis

We're at Bethlehem's North Campus for the first of a 2-day Trellis & the Vine workshop with Col Marshall and Tony Payne (authors of the book by the same title). We found out at the beginning of this morning's session that there are attendees here from not only the 5-state region (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and the Dakotas) but also as far as New Hampshire, south Texas, and Oregon.

Tony…

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The Benefit of Reading Less

Jon Bloom

I have been so helped by John Piper’s recommendation in his book, Brothers, We Are Not Professionals:

I [do not] want to give the impression that I think there is virtue in reading many books. In fact one of my greatest complaints in seminary was that professors trained students in bad habits of superficial reading because they assigned too many books. I agree with Spurgeon: “A student will find…

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Serving: A Distraction to Listening?

Jon Bloom

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…

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How Saints Grow Happier Forever

Tyler Kenney

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 …

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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 am obliged by my neighbor as a reality given to me by God, a reality which I would often…

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