How Can Self-Denial Be Hedonistic?

Jon Bloom

The Christian life is a journey to the greatest joy that exists. But “the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Matthew 7:14). Why is that? Because, paradoxically, as Jesus’s disciples learned in Mark 8, in order to pursue our greatest joy, we must deny ourselves.

It was a moment of euphoria for the disciples. Jesus was the Christ. Peter had confessed it…

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History Could Happen Again

Nathan A. Finn

Jonathan Edwards wrote a number of books that became famous, even during his own lifetime. One of his lesser-known works was a 1746 book titled An Humble Attempt to Promote Explicit Agreement and Visible Union of God’s People in Extraordinary Prayer, For the Revival and Religion and the Advancement of Christ’s Kingdom on Earth. Edwards wrote the book after learning about a group of Scottish ministers who circulated a “memorial”…

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Confessing Our Sins Together

Ryan Griffith

In a chapter on confession and communion in Life Together, Dietrich Bonhoeffer writes that “he who is alone with his sin is utterly alone. . . . But it is the grace of the gospel, which is so hard for the pious to understand, that confronts us with the truth and says: You are a sinner, a great, desperate sinner; now come as the sinner you are, to…

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Preparing for the Storms of Life

Christina Fox

Where I live it is hurricane season. And like anyone familiar with the Atlantic or Caribbean knows, it’s important to be prepared for a hurricane. Every summer we stock up on supplies of batteries, water, canned goods, and other necessities. We make sure to keep our tree limbs trimmed. We map out where we will go in the case of an evacuation.

For many who live near the coast though,…

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The Seven-Year Itch and the Joy of Lifelong Marriage

David Mathis

German politician Gabriele Pauli shocked her conservative party and sent waves through news outlets worldwide when she proposed in September 2007 that marriage should only last seven years.

Described at the time as “Bavaria’s most glamorous politician,” the 50-year-old, twice-divorced, motorcycle-riding Pauli campaigned for party head, in part, with the hopes of institutionalizing what some have called “the seven-year itch.” Her plan was that marriages would automatically dissolve after seven…

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The Aesthetics of Prophecy

Toby J. Sumpter

Beauty is all the rage. You can’t get three sentences in modern theology without tripping over words like “aesthetics” and “beauty” and “Christianity and the arts.” And in many ways this is a welcome shift. The several-century Christian retreat from the arts seems in many ways on its way to a full reversal. Francis Schaeffer has begotten many godchildren, and they are busy exploring, engaging, and perhaps most hearteningly, creating

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Primer on Reading the Bible

John J. Hughes

The Bible is not an ordinary book, and we will never taste its choicest fruits if we approach it in an ordinary manner. Here are seven short pieces of counsel, from a lifelong Bible-reader, to help you make the most of your own study of the Scriptures.

1. Exalt God’s Word

God exalts his word and name above all things (Psalm 138:2). His words are flawless, like silver refined in…

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God Makes Our Misery the Servant of His Mercy

Jon Bloom

Naaman was Syria’s foremost general when Elisha served as God’s foremost prophet in Israel. After a Syrian raid on Israel, Naaman brought back his wife a gift: a Hebrew servant girl. When she saw that Naaman suffered from a serious leprous skin disease, the Hebrew servant girl told Naaman about Elisha and the power of Yahweh. As a result, Naaman was healed.

In this story from 2 Kings 5:1–19, God’s

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When the Prospect of Pain Threatens Our Pleasure

Jonathan Parnell

The problem might go something like this.

My family and I were sitting around the dinner table, and one of the kids said something funny. I can’t remember exactly what was said, but we were all laughing, all six of us, in the euphoria of spontaneous jollification. We were all glad together, in one of those moments when, as a young parent, you sort of come out of yourself to…

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Worship Like a Hedonist

David Mathis

Let me encourage you to take a very hedonistic approach to worship this weekend, and to every corporate worship gathering.

We Christians don’t believe that human pleasure in itself is the highest good, but we should believe that finding our pleasure in God is essential in our participating in the highest good — the glory of God. As we love to celebrate here at Desiring God, God is most glorified

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