When You're More Blessed Than Mary

Jonathan Parnell
When You're More Blessed Than Mary

Jesus says, "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed" (John 19:29).

What he means is that those who have never seen him in person and still believe in him are blessed.

But that's not easy. We're certainly not prone to think this way. I mean, can you imagine what it would have been like to see Jesus? To see God in the flesh, lying in a manger? To hear the first sounds uttered from his vocal chords? To actually touch him? To touch the Nazarene, fully God,... Continue Reading

Early Bird Deadline for Pastors Conference

Josh Etter
Early Bird Deadline for Pastors Conference

A few Pastors Conference reminders:

1. The early bird registration rate of $125 ends December 31 at 11:59 PM (CST). For groups of five or more we have a special rate of just $110 per person.

2. Speakers include Darrin Patrick, Tope Koleoso, Kent Hughes, Jason Meyer, Mack Stiles, John Piper, Tony Reinke and Rick Gamache. See the conference schedule for more details and information.

3. Special guest Mark Dever will open the conference with a two-part seminar on... Continue Reading

A Festivus for the Rest of Us

David Mathis
A Festivus for the Rest of Us

By now, most of us in the West are up to our necks in holiday commercialization. Far too many of us feel like we’re once again stumbling toward Christmas, exhausted and depleted by the most consumeristic season in history’s most consumeristic civilization.

When inundated with the pressures and relentless commercializing of the Christmas season, one memorable personality on the sitcom Seinfeld abandoned Christmas altogether and up and created his own holiday, or anti-holiday. As... Continue Reading

New Martyn Lloyd-Jones Apps

John Piper
New Martyn Lloyd-Jones Apps

In the summer of 1968, between college and seminary, I read Martyn Lloyd-Jones’s Studies in the Sermon on the Mount. It was then, and is now, spiritually and theologically powerful. Lloyd-Jones was one of the best preachers of the 20th century. Thanks to the grace of digital technology, he still is.

Now these 656 pages are recorded by Chris Allen in five apps for your phone, with about six hours of reading in each app. What is unusual about these apps is that the text of the book... Continue Reading

The Story-Teller Who Entered In

Joe Rigney
The Story-Teller Who Entered In

God is an Author. This world is his story. We are his characters.

I first heard of the analogy sitting in a college philosophy class, and I’ve used it ever since. I find it personally fruitful and pastorally helpful in addressing everything from God’s sovereignty and human freedom to the two wills of God to the problem of evil. It’s what you might call a potent metaphor.

And a biblically faithful one. God speaks the world into existence (Genesis 1). He upholds it by the word... Continue Reading

John Newton Understood Winter

Jonathan Parnell
John Newton Understood Winter

It doesn't get above freezing, it's dark by 5PM, and snow is everywhere. Hello, Winter in Upper Midwest America. You are cold and long.

But however cold and long, the best way to bear Winter is to shovel up every bit of metaphor possible. God does give us four seasons for a reason. And life is not always Spring.

In the flavor of Christian Hedonism, and aware of what seasons are for, John Newton penned the hymn, "None upon Earth I Desire Beside Thee."

Newton gets it. May we get... Continue Reading

So Where Was God?

Joe Rigney
So Where Was God?

The question is always the same. Where was God?

After the initial shock and horror subsides, after the news crews go home, we’re always left with the same question: So where was he?

Did he know ahead of time what was going to happen one week ago today? Was he aware of the shooter’s plans? Does he have foreknowledge, foresight, the ability to peer into what for us is the unknown future? Christians who take their Scriptures seriously can’t help but say yes. God knows the end from the... Continue Reading

A Stable of Desperation

Jon Bloom

A Christmas Reprise, A Christmas Prequel

This imaginative story, including character names, was written as a sort of prequel to John Piper’s moving story, The Innkeeper.


The first Christmas night was a holy night. But it was not a silent night. All was not calm. After walking a hundred miles, Joseph arrived in an overcrowded Bethlehem, with a wife in advanced labor. And “there was no place for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7).

***

“We are completely full. We can’t take another person.”

“... Continue Reading

Don Carson on the Incarnation

David Mathis

We dare you to find a better, and shorter, summary for the doctrine of the incarnation than John 1:14: “The Word became flesh.”

We asked Don Carson about this important doctrine at the very heart of Christmas. At the first Advent, the eternal Son of God took to himself full humanity. Without ceasing to be God, he became man. He is one uniquely spectacular person with two full and complete natures, perfectly and personally calibrated for us and for our salvation.

As always,... Continue Reading