The Undaunted Message of Freedom

Brandon Smith
The Undaunted Message of Freedom

“I think, therefore I am.” René Descartes penned this popular line in his 1637 treatise, Discourse on the Method, and it’s a good summary of the book itself. Heralding the importance of scientific discoveries and the necessity of doubting one’s own view of the world, Descartes’ work is often considered the first domino to fall in what is now called the Enlightenment. The Enlightenment, with its explosion of scientific discoveries and philosophical arguments, had one task: ... Continue Reading

When Jesus Haunts Your Halloween

David Mathis
When Jesus Haunts Your Halloween

Unclean spirits stir. Demonic thrones and dominions gather. Cosmic powers over this present darkness come to attention. And the devil himself, ready to devour and destroy, ignites his fiery darts and stretches his legs for the lion’s prowl.

As All Hallows’ Eve draws nigh, the spiritual forces of evil align, and Satan prepares his hordes for the party of the year — the grand harvest festival, celebration of darkness and death, when they pretend to be their strongest.

Halloween... Continue Reading

Three Prayers for Facing Monday (Or Any Tomorrow)

Jonathan Parnell
Three Prayers for Facing Monday (Or Any Tomorrow)

This is one of those really deep, common truths — one which Jonathan Edwards expounds with the intellectual horsepower of a genius, and to which our most common experience testifies:

Essential to our present joy is the anticipation of greater joy to come.

This is why, for example, the best part of going on vacation is often the day before we start it. The glad anticipation of what will be compounds in the present and gives us a good feeling. But the closer we... Continue Reading

Preachers, Find Your Voice

David Mathis
Preachers, Find Your Voice

Christian preaching is not parroting.

As desirable as it is to copy a skilled communicator, and as unavoidable as it is to imitate those who have shaped us most, there is good reason for a preacher to find his own voice. Not vanity, but being true to what Christian preaching is.

Before it is heralding a message, preaching means first and foremost stewarding a message. Before we “preach the word” (2 Timothy 4:2), we should be devoted and unashamed students, “rightly handling the word... Continue Reading

What to Neglect to Have a Rich Life

Jon Bloom
What to Neglect to Have a Rich Life

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. (Colossians 3:16)

This verse from Colossians is so full of nourishment that there is no way to put the whole thing in our mouths at one time. It’s going to take a few blog bites to chew on it.

Today, all I want to do is chew on the first word: “let.” Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.... Continue Reading

15 Quotes from ‘Jesus > Religion’

Marshall Segal
15 Quotes from ‘Jesus > Religion’

Jefferson Bethke has recently published Jesus > Religion: Why He Is So Much Better Than Trying Harder, Doing More, and Being Good Enough. The book’s title and content are inspired by his spoken-word video, “Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus,” which has been viewed 26 million times. Yes, 26 million.

Filled with Jefferson’s own story, the book is raw and authentic. It will engage many, especially young people, who have been hurt by or given up on the church. His conviction... Continue Reading

Five Facts About Loving God

Jason DeRouchie
Five Facts About Loving God

What is the relationship between loving God and neighbor, and how can both Jesus and Paul say that loving our neighbor fulfills the law (Matthew 7:12; Romans 13:8; Galatians 5:14)? Isn’t love for God an even higher priority?

Moses helps us answer these questions in Deuteronomy 10:16–19, where he portrays a radical love of neighbor as the key test to measure whether we are loving God with all.

With an echo of the call to love God with all, Moses opens Deuteronomy 10 by calling... Continue Reading

A Beer with Jesus?

Tony Reinke

Is it a sin for me to drink alcohol?

It could be, says Pastor John in today’s episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast.

“I’m a default teetotaler,” he says. “And what that means is if I have my choice, I don’t drink alcohol, but I might, to be a good guest. . . . But I don’t think anybody can make a case from Scripture that teetotalism is required.”

So what’s his case? Pastor John explains in today’s podcast (episode #200):

YouTube

Also, this week we introduced Ask Pastor John podcast videos... Continue Reading

Simple Greatness: The Story of My Hmong Father

Yia Vang
Simple Greatness: The Story of My Hmong Father

How is the gospel real to you? This was a question that I was asked in college.

As part of a campus ministry, I heard the word “gospel” thrown around a lot, but as for how it was real to me, that wasn’t as easy to explain. The short answer was that the gospel is real to me because it’s how God saved me. The truth of the gospel is alive to me because by it God made me alive. But as I looked closer at God’s work in my life, I began to notice a “tangible remnant”... Continue Reading

A Whole World Hangs on a Word

John Piper
A Whole World Hangs on a Word

Sometimes a whole world — a whole theology — hangs on a word.

Consider the word “this” in Ephesians 2:8. Does it refer to “faith” or “grace” or both? Is faith a gift of God?

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not from you; it is the gift of God.

What does “this” refer to? “And this is not from you; it is the gift of God.” What is its antecedent? The question is not settled by the fact that in Greek “this” is singular and neuter, while “grace” and “faith”... Continue Reading