Show Them the Light in the Bleak Midwinter Night

Jon Bloom
Show Them the Light in the Bleak Midwinter Night

Isaiah 9:2,

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.

Where I live Christmastime is cold. Just days ago Minneapolis was wrapped in a frigid blanket of snow 14 inches thick. Though the drab brown city was transfigured into a winter wonderland, every Minneapolitan longed for warmth.

Where I live Christmastime is dark. High up in the northern hemisphere the sun makes his... Continue Reading

How to Watch ‘The Hobbit’

David Mathis
How to Watch ‘The Hobbit’

At long last, Bilbo Baggins is back. Whether you’re fanatic enough to dress up for the midnight showing, or patiently awaiting a weekend outing, or even content to meander into a theater after the crowds die down, here’s some advice for how to make the most of your experience of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

Don’t worry, there’s no spoiler below. My hope in seeing an early screening of the film is to be at your service in preparing you for the viewing, not by letting any cat out... Continue Reading

God's Promise for the Disappointed

Steve Fuller
God's Promise for the Disappointed

Maybe you have longed for healing, for a job or for a baby or for a wife. You have faithfully and earnestly prayed for weeks and months — even years. But you are still sick, still unemployed, still childless, still single.

And you are disappointed. In fact, you are disappointed by God.

I Can Relate

For many years my wife and I longed for pregnancy. We longed and prayed. And longed and prayed some more. Couples we knew got pregnant — but we did not. And we felt deep... Continue Reading

The Invincible, Irrefutable Joy

Tony Reinke
The Invincible, Irrefutable Joy

When the Nazis padlocked the doors of the Confessing Church seminaries in Germany in the Autumn of 1937, Dietrich Bonhoeffer took theological training underground and opened his own seminary in Finkenwalde. Before the Gestapo shut it down in 1939, Bonhoeffer managed to train 67 seminary students.1 These 67 seminarians and Bonhoeffer formed a band of brothers that could not be torn apart, although some of them were arrested, some were dispersed by the Nazi oppression, and... Continue Reading

Eyes Wide Open to God’s Created Beauty

Tony Reinke
Eyes Wide Open to God’s Created Beauty

This morning we posted a list of my 12 favorite books from 2012. In this episode of Authors on the Line we talk with pastor Steve DeWitt, the author of my choice for the book of the year: Eyes Wide Open: Enjoying God in Everything.

Several Christian publishers turned the book down because Christians don’t really have an interest in reading about beauty, or so he was told. Despite the skepticism, I’m grateful Credo House stepped forward and published this book. It is a... Continue Reading

Top 12 Books of 2012

Tony Reinke

For seven years I’ve had the honor of tracking non-fiction books released by Christian publishers, and in that span of time I would say 2012 was the most fruitful year of them all. Recently I gathered up my favorite titles of the year — everything from theological works and commentaries to marriage and children’s books — and chose what I think were the 12 most important books published in 2012. The task was incredibly difficult this year, but eventually I settled on the following.

1.... Continue Reading

Erik Thoennes on the Christian and Sport

David Mathis

Playfulness is vital to healthy Christianity, says pastor and professor Erik Thoennes. “To be a Christian means to take God very seriously, but not ourselves.”

The great source of Christian playfulness is God himself, and the lavishness of his creation kindness and redeeming grace. Toss in some good healthy competition — and yes, competition can be good and healthy — and you have a recipe for sport and athletics.

For the Christian, there’s no such thing as “just a... Continue Reading

Jesus Can Be Troubling

Jonathan Parnell
Jesus Can Be Troubling

Jesus troubles those who don't worship him. That's the situation of Matthew 2, as John Piper explains in today's Advent reading:

Matthew 2:1–4,

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, 2saying, "Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him." 3When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; 4and assembling... Continue Reading

To Those Hurting This Christmas

John Knight

I know some of you are praying you’ll make it through Christmas — just make it through — not anticipating anything good will come from gathering with extended family and friends. It has become a cliche — right next to the article on what second-graders are excited about for Christmas is the article on the rise in depression during this last month of the year.

You know the sadness is real. While you change the diaper of a teenager, or administer complicated medications, or... Continue Reading

When We Don't Want to Wait

Jonathan Parnell
When We Don't Want to Wait

Where in the world is it? I couldn't find my electric beard trimmer. I opened the sink cabinets and moved around a few bath towels. Still nothing. Inanimate objects don't grow legs and walk away (my mother used to say), but this was gone. I decided to forget it and move on after searching around ten seconds.

But then it dawned on me...

I have mistaken accessibility as actuality. What I mean is, functionally, because the beard tool wasn't right there I acted as if it wasn't real.... Continue Reading