Check out


6 Reasons Why Anxiety, Worry, & Fear are Particular Problems for Christians | Ron Edmondson
Can you “over-spiritualize” fear and anxiety?

The Dominant Medium We Neglect | Bob Allen, The Gospel Coalition
In short: Television. Bob examines the current state of Christian television.

James Is, You Know, in the Bible | Rick Phillips, Reformation21
Rick wrestles with Faith and Works.

How An Affair Really Begins | Tim Challies
It’s not with sex.

Reaching a Boiling Point | Barry York, Gentle Reformation
What Deuteronomy 14:21 (“You shall not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk”) has to do with us today.

I Went To Planned Parenthood For Birth Control, But They Pushed Abortion | Sarah Owens, The Federalist
Sarah outlines her personal experience with Planned Parenthood as a teenager and her changing views on a woman’s “right to choose.”

Recommended New Book

Happiness by Randy Alcorn. Although I have a couple of reservations about this book, which I’ll explain in my upcoming review, on the whole I am very positive about it.

Kindle Books

God’s Design for Man and Woman: A Biblical-Theological Survey by Andreas and Margaret Kostenberger $2.99.

Truth in a Culture of Doubt: Engaging Skeptical Challenges to the Bible by Andreas Kostenberger $2.99.

How Do Preaching and Corporate Prayer Work Together? by Ryan McGraw


God in Our Midst: A New Teaching Series from Daniel Hyde | Ligonier
Exciting series from Ligonier and Danny Hyde centering on understanding Jesus through understanding of the Old Testament tabernacle.

Trustees Wanted

A local millionaire is leaving on a round-the-world yacht race and he’s looking for trustees to manage his estate for a year while he’s sailing the seven seas. “Trustees Wanted” says the headline of his advertisement in the local newspaper. Read some of the smaller print and you’ll discover he’s simply looking for trustworthy people to look after his property and valuables and hand them back to him in a year in the same condition as they received them.

Seems simple enough, but he goes on to explain that it will require a significant commitment of time, of thought, of feet, and of hands. Based upon his past experience, it will require perseverance in the face of difficulty and courage in the face of threats. It will be a heavy responsibility, it will involve many hours, it will produce many stresses, and there will be a thorough review and accountability process in a year. Oh, and the job pays nothing.

Do you think he’d get many takers? Do you think many or any would volunteer as trustees? Well, it’s such trustees that the Apostle Paul is looking for in the last verses of 1 Timothy.

O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge,” for by professing it some have swerved from the faith (1 Timothy 6:20-21).

Read the rest of this post at The Christward Collective to find out why you should sign up as a Gospel Trustee.

Check out


Diplomacy or D-Day | Ligonier: Gregory Koukl
Apologist Gregory Koukl with two helpful questions for personal evangelism.

Unintended and Imperfect Children Aren’t Unwanted | The Federalist 
“Was it difficult to watch Maddie struggle through the challenges her birth defect presented? Incredibly. Would I do it all over again to see that bright, toothy grin and those beautiful, long-lashed eyes? In a heartbeat.”

Writing the Sermon and the Use of Systematic Theology | Place for Truth: Tim Bertolet
On the same subject, here’s 5 Reasons Why Systematic Theology is Indispensable to the Preacher.

Social Sin, Social Media, and Social Interaction | Feeding on Christ: Nick Batzig
What do the Scriptures teach us about how a Christian is to respond to news about notorious individuals, societal injustices and scandalous sin?

Is Same-Sex Attraction Sinful?
Denny Burk and Heath Lambert discuss the Bible’s teaching on this important matter.

From Bahai To Porn to Alpha to Jesus | Christianity Today: Emily Armstrong
Beautiful testimony of grace.

Some Thoughts on the Reading of Books | Al Mohler
6 tips to get more reading done and get more from your reading.

Three Steps to Successful Sabbaths | Lifeway: Mark Dance
“Several years ago I became spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally unhealthy because I had consistently neglected practicing the Sabbath.”

New Book

Systematic Theology: A Compendious View of Natural and Revealed Religion by John Brown.

Kindle Books

The Joy of Calvinism: Knowing God’s Personal, Unconditional, Irresistible, Unbreakable Love by Greg Forster $2.99.

The Unquenchable Flame: Discovering the Heart of the Reformation by Michael Reeves $0.99.

Live Like A Narnian: Christian Discipleship in Lewis’s Chronicles by Joe Rigney $2.99


Glory to the Holy One Premiere

Check out


9 Marks of a Generous Giver | Dan Olson, The Gospel Coalition
Wonderful, biblical descriptions by Dan. I join him in his closing prayer: “May God loosen our grasp on possessions, and grow in us a heart to advance his kingdom through radical generosity.”

5 Wonderful Truths about Biblical Confession: Counseling from the Book of Ezra | Kevin Hurt, Biblical Counseling Coalition

Study Bibles as Theological Tool Kits | Ligonier
A preview of Justin Taylor’s article in Tabletalk.

Top Ten Roman Catholic Evangelism Books | Jordan Standridge, The Cripplegate
Books to help you reach out to Catholics with the Gospel.

Pope Francis Never Mentioned Jesus In His Speech To Congress | The Federalist
Includes a transcript of his speech at the conclusion of the article.

What Joe Biden Can Teach Us About the Abortion Debate | Aaron Earls
“While the two poles of the abortion debate each capture somewhere between a third and a fifth of the population at any given time, most Americans live somewhere in the middle.” Aaron offers ways for us to speak to those in the middle.

Death Sentence for Doctors? | Sophia Lee, World Magazine
What happens when a doctor’s best medical advice appears bigoted.

Kindle Deals

Fear and Faith: Finding the Peace Your Heart Craves by Trillia Newbell ($3.03)

Who Is Jesus? by R. C. Sproul ($2.50)

How Should Men Lead Their Families? by Joel R. Beeke ($0.99)

What Is Experiential Calvinism? by Ian Hamilton ($0.99)

How Should Teens Read the Bible? by Joel R. Beeke ($0.99)

The Hardest Peace: Expecting Grace in the Midst of Life’s Hard by Kara Tippetts ($2.99)

New Book

Reviving the Black Church by Thabiti Anyabwile ($9.99)

Book Review: Reviving the Black Church, by Thabiti Anyabwile | Jemar Tisby, 9Marks


Adoption Mirrors God’s Love for Us

Beautiful Calvinism: A Review of the Joy Project

Joy Project

What do you get when you combine Gretchen Ruben’s Happiness Project with the Five Points of Calvinism and Tony Reinke’s compelling writing?

You’re looking at it.

It sounds like a weird and unworkable combination, but it works well and results in an outstandingly beautiful presentation of the doctrines of grace.

Tony is careful to clarify early on that this is not a Christianized version of The Happiness Project.  This is not a book of practical theology, but of pure theology. It’s not a book centered on you, but on God. It’s not a book about what you can do to make yourself happier (though there is a place for that). It’s a book about what God has done to make you happier. It’s not DIY-happiness, but GDI-happiness. (You work it out!)

It uses the hook of the universal human pursuit of happiness to draw the reader in, only to dash these doomed hopes of happiness to dust, and then rebuild them on solid durable biblical foundations.

Its five main chapters are built around the five points of Calvinism. But it’s not your usual over-systematized presentation of the doctrines of grace that, while theologically correct, kills the beauty of grace and bores the reader to tears. By using the overarching theme of The Joy Project, Tony manages to join accuracy with attractiveness, and correct theology with compelling theology.

Additional Clarity
There’s one area I’d have liked to see a bit more clarity on. The first section on the atonement uses language that others have used about its sufficiency for all but applied only to some. Due to the possibility of people implying some kind of universal atonement from that (something Tony does distance himself from), I prefer not to use that language. Also, if God did not intend the atonement to be for all, He never intended it to be sufficient for all. So, it’s kind of a moot point. Yes, it does make “limited” or “definite” atonement more easy to defend and present; but is it true?

Additional Emphasis
There is one other area I’d like to have seen more emphasis on, although it might have diverted from the joy trajectory, and that is God’s aim of holiness. Tony repeatedly stresses God’s aim of His people’s happiness. That’s one of His aims, for sure, but it’s not the only aim. The Apostle Paul also frames the doctrines of grace as God aiming for His people’s holiness:

He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love (Eph. 1:4).

It’s not a popular emphasis today, but maybe Tony’s next book might be The Holiness Project. (Or someone else might want to write something like, oh say, The Holy Christian perhaps?). Holiness and happiness are not contradictory of course. But without minimizing the plan, pursuit, and provision of joy, our generation probably needs to add an equal emphasis on the plan, pursuit, and provision of holiness. It’s not only believing the truth that produces joy (though we start there). Obeying the truth in every area of life also brings immense joy to the soul (John 14:21,23).

Who is this for?
That said, if you’ve ever wanted a book to help introduce someone to the doctrines of grace, not just the truth of them but the beauty of them, this book is perfect in size, content, and style. I’ll be getting a supply of them to give away.

If you want to persuade Arminian friends, this won’t beat them over the head with naked logic, but will so whet their appetites that they surely cannot but desire to feast upon these truths. It’s the best apologetic (not apology) for Calvinism I’ve come across. It’s been so wonderful to see Tony Reinke’s writing gifts flourish so much since his move to Minneapolis a few years ago.

If you want to revive your own love for these truths, The Joy Project should do the trick. It will give you some outstanding phrases and sentences to meditate on and even memorize. It will inject a new and fresh perspective into old truths, giving you a passion to spread the message of the supremacy of God for the joy of all peoples. Oh, wait, didn’t someone say that somewhere before?

You can buy the real book at Amazon or you can download an eBook or pdf version here.

Check out


The Doctrines of Grace: By His Grace and For His Glory | Steve Lawson, Ligonier

Heir of All Things | Nick Batzig, Christward Collective
Re-focus your mind on what really matters.

Carl Trueman on How John Owen Speaks to the Most Pressing Pastoral Issue of Our Day | Justin Taylor, The Gospel Coalition
Trueman speaks to this in his foreword to Matthew Barrett and Michael Haykin’s new book, Owen on the Christian Life.

How to Use a Study Bible | Andy Naselli, Desiring God
A Study Bible can be a great help, but don’t let it think for you.

Bully Pulpit: Train Up a Child to Read | Mortification of Spin Podcast
Quality book and devotional recommendations for your little ones.

5 Things Adoptive Families Wish Their Churches Knew | Christina Fox, The Aquila Report
“Sometimes, because we don’t understand something, we may unwittingly ignore the challenges and hurdles adoptive families face. We may neglect to reach out and offer help and support. As a result, adoptive families are left feeling isolated in their churches. In the place where they ought to receive the most encouragement, they often feel the most alone.”

The Hidden Ministry of Motherhood | Elizabeth Wann, Desiring God
Moms, Jesus sees you and understands you.

Climate Change: Which Kind Are We Fighting For? | James Faris, Gentle Reformation
Thoughts on how we should use the earthly resources God has given us.

Is Capitalism Unchristian? | Kevin DeYoung, The Gospel Coalition

Sex and Campus | Mark Bauerlein, First Things
Mark addresses the findings from the recent survey by the Association of American Universities.

Kindle Deals

The Hardest Peace: Expecting Grace in the Midst of Life’s Hard by Kara Tippetts ($2.99)

Introducing the Old Testament Books: A Thorough but Concise Introduction for Proper Interpretation by Paul D. Weaver ($1.99)

Preaching to a Post-Everything World: Crafting Biblical Sermons That Connect with Our Culture by Zack Eswine ($2.51)


Secretary Clinton defends legal abortion through all nine months of pregnancy