I am very excited about Todd Wilson’s excellent new book, Real Christian: Bearing the Marks of Authentic Faith. Todd and I go way back, having studied together under John Piper at The Bethlehem Institute back in our early days of seminary. Todd has a PhD from the University of Cambridge and is now senior pastor at […]
Your Obedience is Not Filthy Rags
Michael Kruger nails it at The Gospel Coalition: When it comes to our justification — our legal standing before God — our own good works are in no way the grounds of God’s declaration that we are “righteous.” Indeed, the gospel is good news because we are saved not by what we have done, but […]
Are the Beatitudes Commands?
One author writes: The New Testament is full of commands for us to obey. Full of them. The Sermon on the Mount is no exception….[But] the Beatitudes, Jesus’s introduction to the Sermon on the Mount, are a different story. There you’ll not find a single imperative. Not one. The Beatitudes, of course, are Jesus’ statements […]
Keeping an Eye on the Backward Clock: How Getting Things Done Relates to the Biblical Call for Holiness
Scott Belsky, in Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality: The notion of the backward clock is simple: if you were told the exact year, day, and time that your life would end, would you manage your time and energy any differently? Even if that date were seventy-three years, twelve days, two […]
"If It's Dangerous, God Must Not Be in It": True or False?
David Platt answers this well in his book Radical: We so often think “If it’s dangerous, God must not be in it. If it’s risky, if it’s unsafe, if it’s costly, it must not be God’s will.” But what if these factors are actually the criteria by which we determine if something is God’s will? […]
The Problem With Making Christianity Be About Rules
There are three problems with seeing Christianity primarily in terms of following rules. First, this notion is just wrong. Second, it obscures the fact that the solution to our problem is not following rules, but forgiveness. Third, it gives the impression, as William Wilberforce said, that Christianity is “a system of prohibitions rather than privileges […]
It's Not Enough to Do Good
You have to be mindful of God in the good that you do. “Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good” (1 Peter 4:19). “For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly” (1 Peter 2:19). “Let […]
Christianity is a Religion of the Affections
Wilberforce: We can scarcely indeed look into any part of the sacred volume without meeting abundant proofs that it is the religion of the affections which God particularly requires. Joy is enjoined on us as our bounden duty and commended to us as our acceptable worship. A cold, unfeeling heart is represented as highly criminal. […]
Spurgeon on the Necessary Connection Between Doctrine and Practice
Spurgeon in Counsel For Christian Workers: His way went wrong after his thought had gone wrong. You cannot deviate from truth without ere long, in some measure, at any rate, deviating from practical righteousness. This man had erred from right acting because he had erred from right believing. Suppose a man shall imbibe a doctrine […]
What Does it Mean to be Pure? Or, How We Often Minimize What Jesus Really Means When He Says We are to Be "Pure in Heart"
Our daughter’s name is Kate, which means “pure.” The other night I came in to tuck her in a bit late, and she said “I just got done praying.” Which is fantastic (she’s 6). I said to her “what did you pray for?” One of the things she said was: “I prayed that I would […]