When the Bible Is Hard to Understand

John Knight
When the Bible Is Hard to Understand

Years ago Noel Piper recommended a way to read the Bible that helped her, and, as I eventually discovered, helped me as well. She introduced a strategy that turned Bible reading from duty to delight:

I became a hunter, and my blue highlighter was my weapon. The prey was God’s attributes. I set out to underline everything the Bible says about God (didn’t want to set my sights too narrow!). . .

This “hunt for God” was irresistible to me. It drew me like a magnet. And once I... Continue Reading

Warm Yourself at the Fires of Meditation

David Mathis
Warm Yourself at the Fires of Meditation

We were made to meditate. God designed us with the capacity to pause and ponder. He means for us to not just hear him, but to reflect on what he says.

It is a distinctively human trait to stop and consider, to chew on something with the teeth of our minds and hearts, to roll some reality around in our thoughts and press it deeply into our feelings, to look from different angles and seek to get a better sense of its significance.

The biblical name for this art is ... Continue Reading

Doctrine Matters for Deeds of Mercy

Jonathan Parnell
Doctrine Matters for Deeds of Mercy

Good works never just happen. How we treat others is always determined by what we think about God, by who he is and what he’s done.

Whether implicit or explicit, this is fundamentally the case. It’s not by accident that the greatest commandment is to love God, and then the second, which “is like it,” is to love others (Matthew 22:36–40). Our vertical relationship inevitability impacts the horizontal. And in fact, it’s just this point that ruins the Book of Nehemiah.

Now,... Continue Reading

World Vision: Adultery No, Homosexual Practice Yes

John Piper
World Vision: Adultery No, Homosexual Practice Yes

Update 3/26/14: World Vision has released a statement reversing their recent decision concerning so-called same-sex marriage.


Christianity Today reports that “World Vision’s American branch will no longer require its more than 1,100 employees to restrict their sexual activity to marriage between one man and one woman.” World Vision president, Richard Stearns, clarified, “The new policy will not exclude someone from employment if they are in a legal same-sex... Continue Reading

How to Fill Your Life with Joy

Jonathan Parnell

Seriously pursue joy in the face of Jesus Christ. That’s what Matt Chandler says is the main lesson he’s learned along the slow, dirt path of sanctification. There’s no silver bullet, he explains, to become like Jesus, but the greatest single means is to fix your eyes on Jesus himself — to fill your life with things that stir your affections for him, and to toss the things that rob them.

He says more what that looks like in this two-minute video:

Transcript:

When I think about... Continue Reading

Fake Papers, Chastened Pride

John Piper
Fake Papers, Chastened Pride

I wonder which is stronger: the desire for erotic pleasure or the desire to avoid ridicule? Which is stronger: the craving of the body for sexual pleasure, or the craving of the ego for notable praise?It’s hard to measure, because erotic power is mainly in the body, while fear of ridicule and love for praise are mainly in the soul. Both are massive compared to the human resources to control them.

Published Gibberish

I was chastened recently by the news that 120 published academic... Continue Reading

We Are Made for Praise

Jason DeRouchie
We Are Made for Praise

At that time I will bring you in, at the time when I gather you together; for I will make you renowned and praised among all the peoples of the earth, when I restore your fortunes before your eyes, says the Lᴏʀᴅ. (Zephaniah 3:20)

Zephaniah was one of Yahweh’s prophets of judgment, who foretold the day of the Lᴏʀᴅ — both the near day of judgment against Judah (Zephaniah 1:4–13; 2:2; 3:7) and the future day of judgment against the entire world (Zephaniah 1:1–3, 14–18; 3:8).

Such... Continue Reading

Three Tips on Being a Friend of Sinners

Jonathan Parnell
Three Tips on Being a Friend of Sinners

Jesus was accused of being a friend of sinners. That was the word on the street in first-century Palestine.

The precise phrase — “friend of sinners” — is mentioned twice in the Gospels, in Matthew 11:19 and Luke 7:34. The naysayers of the day, the religious aristocracy, criticized Jesus as a “glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.”

They called him this because it was true. He was a friend of sinners. Jesus himself said that he didn’t come for... Continue Reading

‘Divergent’ Lesson in Human Depravity

David Mathis
‘Divergent’ Lesson in Human Depravity

It’s rare to find a major motion picture that paints humanity, as a whole, to be this bad.

Not only was it human evil that nearly destroyed the world in some great war, but now it is human depravity that threatens to undo it all again. They sought to guard against this very thing when they divided society into five factions: Abnegation to counter selfishness, Erudite to stand against ignorance, Amity against aggression, Candor against duplicity, and Dauntless against... Continue Reading

How to Get Your Mind Back on Track

Jon Bloom
How to Get Your Mind Back on Track

How are you feeling? What’s on your mind?

These are very important questions, not just polite conversation starters. They’re questions we should ask ourselves (and others) frequently because they tell us what direction our train is heading.

Our Train of Thought

The train of the mind is linked together like this: the car of our thoughts is hitched to the car of our emotions, which is hitched to the car of our hope, which is hitched to the engine of our trust.

Here’s how the... Continue Reading