Tsunami and Repentance
Jan 5, 2005Every deadly calamity is a merciful call from God for the living to repent.
Martin Luther King, Birmingham, and the Great Letter
Jan 12, 2005On April 3, 1963 Martin Luther King issued the “Birmingham Manifesto” (not the letter). He was 34 years old, married and with four children one of them five days old. The manifesto called for all lunch counters restrooms, and drinking…
Thoughts on the Sufficiency of Scripture
What It Does and Doesn't Mean
Feb 9, 2005To affirm truth with extra-biblical language is more biblical than using biblical language to defend falsehood.
A Surprise Endorsement for Doctrine
Feb 16, 2005If we are not willing to get a high estimation of doctrine from Scripture, perhaps we can get it from George Barna.
When Gratitude Gets Complicated
Thoughts on Saying Thank You at Bethlehem and Desiring God
Mar 2, 2005When you are in a position of receiving blessing from many people, knowing how to express gratitude can be challenging.
The Doctrinal Difference
Mar 5, 2005Professing Christians who don’t preach doctrine from the Bible don’t practice differently from the world.
An Open Letter To Governor Tim Pawlenty Concerning the Expansion of State-Supported Casino Gambling in Minnesota
Mar 9, 2005The desire to be rich is suicidal. Endorsing it by encouraging gambling is cruel.
How to Pray for the Pastoral Staff
Mar 16, 2005Eight gifts to ask God to give to your church's leadership.
There Is a Way to Be Happy, Even in Sadness
Godly Sorrow: Jesus’s and Ours
Mar 23, 2005No sorrow in the Christian's life will end ultimately in grief. Jesus' blood will have the final say.
Thanks for Praying for Me on Writing Leave--Here's What Happened
May 4, 2005For all those who asked our heavenly Father to help me while I was on writing leave, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I felt supported in every way. So I would like to give you an update…
Three Campuses for Treasuring Christ Together
Jun 15, 2005Treasuring Christ Together is Bethlehem's strategy for spreading a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ by multiplying campuses planting churches and supporting the Global Diaconate for the poorest…
When Is It Dangerous to Look at Jesus?
Jun 15, 2005On vacation, I kept a copy of Jonathan Edwards' sermons on my bedside table as a way of going to sleep with a God-centered mind. One of those sermons was called, “Keeping the Presence of God.” It was preached at…
Jesus and the Children
Pondering Children as Pride Detectors
Jun 22, 2005Something is deeply amiss in the soul that does not descend to love a child.
When Unclothed Is Unfitting
Thoughts on Selling with Sex
Jul 6, 2005There are at least nine reasons--even from a secular perspective--for why sexually-explicit advertising is socially irresponsible.
A Compelling Reason for Rigorous Training of the Mind
Thoughts on the Significance of Reading
Jul 13, 2005The Bible often requires us to read thoroughly, not skim lightly. How should this affect the way we train our minds?
The City of God and the City of Man: Recommended Reading on Christian Engagement in Culture
Jul 20, 2005Suggested books and articles on Christians and civic life.
How the Elders of Bethlehem Baptist Church Decided That It Was Biblical and Wise to Borrow Money to Purchase the North Campus
Jul 27, 2005On July 24 I preached on Romans 13:8a, "Owe no one anything, except to love each other." I raised the question whether this command ruled out all borrowing for Christians—borrowing a rake from a neighbor, fifty cents for a coke…
Setting Our Minds on Things Above in Summer
Thoughts on Colossians 3:1-2
Aug 3, 2005Originally published in A Godward Life (Multnomah, 1997). If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not…
Baptism and Church Membership: Eight Recommendations for Constitutional Revision
Aug 9, 2005View this resource as a PDF.
Making Room for Atheism
Thoughts on the Supremacy of God in a Pluralistic World
Aug 10, 2005How do we express a passion for the supremacy of God in a pluralistic world?
What Is the "Bad Eye" in Matthew 6:23?
Aug 17, 2005If your emotions are drawn more by material things than by Christ then you probably aren't seeing the beauty of grace.
What the Elders Are Proposing: Amendments to the Constitution and By-Laws
Aug 31, 2005I hope you can come hear me teach on Wednesday, September 7, at 6:30 pm. I will be putting a motion from the elders in Biblical and historical context. The issues are controversial, but very important. On August 9, 2005…
Famine, Flood, and Failing Fortune
Sep 2, 2005Every river and the seas do His sovereign bidding purely. This is comfort surely.
Was Katrina Intelligent Design?
Sep 2, 2005God will always be guilty of high crimes for those who think they’ve never committed any.
Encouraging You to Come to the Desiring God National Conference on Suffering and the Sovereignty of God
Sep 7, 2005Dear Bethlehem I am writing to encourage you to come to the third annual Desiring God National Conference at the Minneapolis Convention Center on October 7-9, 2005. The theme is Suffering and the Sovereignty of God. I believe this conference…
Baptism and Church Membership: The Recommendation from the Elders for Amending Bethlehem's Constitution
Sep 14, 2005On behalf of the Council of Elders I made the first presentation of the proposed amendments to the church on Wednesday, September 7. The motion came from the elders to the church that the Constitution and By-Laws be amended in…
Imperfect Love Fulfills the Law and Pleases the Perfection-Demanding God
Sep 21, 2005Christians can love each other in a way that is never perfect in this life but which nevertheless pleases God and fulfills the law, even though the law demands perfection. How can this be? First, let me defend the claim…
Minimizing the Bible?
Seeker-Driven Pastors and Radical Contextualization in Missions
Sep 28, 2005I have been pondering a possible relationship between the minimizing of the Bible in so-called seeker-driven churches and in some of the radical forms of contextualization that have emerged in missions. Perhaps there isn’t any connection. But I wonder. The…
If the Lord’s Day Is Sunday, Why Do We Have a Saturday Evening Service?
Oct 5, 2005It is acceptable to conduct your worship service on a day other than the Lord's Day?
More Clarifications on the Baptism and Membership Issue
How Important is Church Membership?
Oct 12, 2005To help you keep thinking and praying about your vote on December 18 at the Annual All-Church Strategy Meeting concerning the Elder proposal on Baptism and Church Membership, here are a few more clarifying thoughts. Recall that the proposal is…
Ten Reasons to Listen to Questions Before You Answer
Meditation on Proverbs 18:13
Oct 25, 2005Why is it a bad idea to give an answer too soon?
Answers to Objections to Going into Missions
What I Said at Missions in the Main Hall
Nov 3, 2005Consider these 8 potential excuses for why a person can't do missions and what the Bible has to say about them.
Missions, Orality, and the Bible
Thoughts on Pre-, Less-, and Post-literate Cultures
Nov 16, 2005There is significant discussion today about oral cultures and how they learn and how they should be evangelized and built up in faith. The discussion ranges from pre-literate to post-literate—from cultures that have never had their languages written down to…
Dec 4, 2005Paul turned the right side of his face Into the dark and took the case He carried in his cloak, and found The linen napkin folded ’round The little flask of oil, where none Could see. The constant tears had…
Dec 11, 2005Paul looked at Silas, smiled the kind Of half-smile Silas loved, inclined His head toward Timothy, and said, “The best is yet to come. I dread To make my friend sit through this tale Again. I’ve led him down this…
Enemies of the Cross and How to Respond to Them
Dec 14, 2005Christians should never take up arms to proclaim or defend Christ. We must die to make him known.
Dec 18, 2005When Alexander learned his trade In Gadara, the people paid So much for every heaping pail Of pure ground corn, that from the sale Of summer crops alone his tough And toiling father earned enough To last all year, and…