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Christ in the Old Testament
From Calvin’s preface to the New Testament. And here’s another quotation on the same subject.

It’s time to speak
On male/female roles and relationships: “Here’s the deal: Father, Son and Spirit have different roles and they are still equal.  Their worth is not defined by their tasks.  It’s our worldview – not God’s – that assigns value based on role.  As long as we find our worth in our to-do list, we will confuse equality and sameness.”

Performing Experiments on Ourselves
Kim talks about attention spans and concludes with an experiment I was considering myself the last couple of days.

Mental Illness: What is the church’s role?
“In general, the church tends to handle mental illness in one of three ways: ignore it, treat it exclusively as a spiritual problem, or refer people to professionals and wash our hands of their trouble.”

Give your pastor a break
One for elders and deacons.

“6-year-old with spina bifida does a stunt”
A rightly proud father sent me this amazing video of his adopted son, Nathan, who has spina bifida and has no feeling or movement in his legs. Suddenly, today doesn’t seem so bad, does it!?

7 Steps to Using Technology for God’s Glory

No parent wants to give his or her child unfettered access to the Internet. But neither is it realistic or wise to forbid any access whatsoever. How then do we plot a course that avoids these two extremes and yet maximizes their moral and spiritual safety? In my recent article for, I outlined 7 Steps to Using Technology for God’s Glory.

  1. Educate
  2. Fence
  3. Mentor
  4. Supervise
  5. Review
  6. Trust
  7. Model

Click here for the full article.

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Lay Elders – A User’s Guide
So much good advice here.

Being Black and Reformed
Tabletalk interview with pastor and author Anthony Carter.

Who goes there?
What should we be looking for when we read the Old Testament? Peter Mead has three answers.

Dave Ramsey’s Free Guide to Budgeting
I wish I’d met Dave Ramsey 30 years ago.

How to choose a college
And on the same subject How tech is changing college [Infographic].

17 Billion Earth-Size Planets in our Galaxy
This should help you understand Psalm 8 even more.

The Apostle Paul’s Media Pyramid

A food pyramid is a graphic way of displaying the recommended daily intake of different kinds of healthy food. The Apostle Paul drew a media food pyramid for us in Philippians 4:8, breaking down our media intake into six healthy categories:

Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever thingsare pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

1. True not false: “Whatever things are true”
Media lies are found on both the left and the right. Christians will often rightly protest at the bias of the mainstream media, and yet be completely blind to the bias that comes from the more conservative media outlets. But lies are lies regardless of whether they come from the left or the right.

We also have to be careful that we don’t over-expose ourselves to journalists who spend most of their time exposing the lies of “the other team.” Again this over-emphasis on falsehood only breeds cynicism, suspicion, and mistrust.

2. Noble not base: “Whatever things are noble”
The media tend to publicize the vile and sordid side of life. Some of the most popular books over the past years have been childhood memoirs that describe the most horrific abuse and cruelty. 50 Shades of Grey, a trilogy of books that celebrate sadistic sex, has occupied the bestsellers list for months and months, drawing massive media attention and debasing old and young minds alike.

“Don’t do this to yourself!” appealed Paul. Bin the base and nourish the noble in your life. “Noble” means “majestic, awe-inspiring, worthy, and elevating.” It’s the word used to describe deacons in 1 Tim 3:8 and old men in Titus 2:2. It can be translated “gravity” and is the opposite of what is cheap, tawdry, and frivolous.

3. Right not wrong: “Whatever things are just”
“Just” means what conforms to God’s law and standards, and describes right conduct in the whole of life. Does that sound like most sit-coms, soap-operas, and news features? Do the media celebrate right acts? Quite the reverse; they usually focus on sinful acts. Moral people don’t make the news and if they do ever appear in TV or on film, they are caricatured as out-of-touch or irrelevant.

4. Purity not filth: “Whatever things are pure”
When was the last time you saw a film that celebrated chastity and modesty, or showed the beauty of Christian marriage, or that portrayed a normal functioning family. Immorality, abuse, fighting, murder, and weirdness rules the day. Filth floats to the surface while purity sinks without trace.

5. Beautiful not ugly: “Whatever things are lovely”
“Lovely” things call and compel admiration and affection. It’s literally “towards love” and means whatever produces love, whatever moves towards love. Perhaps the best modern word would be “beautiful” or “winsome.” That’s hardly a word that comes to mind when surveying most TV listings or movie premieres. The ugly side of life seems to win the day as so many are fatally drawn to the darkness (John 3:19). Notice how many millions of views that “Fail” videos have on Youtube! See if you can find many viral videos that showcase the beautiful and the lovely.

6. Praise not complaint: “Whatever things are of good report”
Focus on what is constructive rather than destructive, on whatever makes people exclaim, “Well done!” rather than what makes you and others say, “That’s terrible.”

As you sit at your dinner table, do you suggest topics that will show people up in a good light or in a bad light? Do you tell stories that will make your family praise God and others or in a way that will make them doubt God and criticize others.

Whatever x 6
There is much good in everyday life that should be acknowledged and appreciated, regardless of whether it is done or said by a Christian or not. Whether it’s a good product, a helpful service, a wise insight, a superb article, or a beautiful photograph, praise and celebrate it. Don’t look first for what you can critique, look for what you can admire. As Paul summed up: “If there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”

And his emphasis is not on the “not.” He’s not saying so much, “Don’t watch that, don’t listen to this, don’t think about that, don’t, don’t, don’t…” Rather it’s positive, “Do think, do focus, do fill your minds with the true, the good, the lovely, etc.” And let’s help our children to do the same. That’s a daily duty and a daily battle for which we need daily grace.

What old and new media sources and resources have you found that help you eat healthy?

See also: A New Diet for a New Year.

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5 Books to fill a gap in church history and doctrine
While reading Lifted by Angels recently, I’ve been amazed at how much I’ve benefited from Joel Miller’s use of the early church fathers. So when he recommends five books from 1000 years of ignored church history, I’m inclined to sit up and take note. And while we’re on the subject, Kent Shafer lists the top 14 books for church leaders from the early church period.

The Beauty in the Busy
This would have been a good Monday morning post for pastors. But Tuesday will do just as well.

Out of the Cave
As someone who’s just spent six months in the cave (in fact I’m still in it), I so appreciated Peter Leithart’s colorful description of the writing experience.

5 Things Bad Radio Guests Do (and 7 ways to rock on radio)
Essential reading for anyone who ever gives interviews on radio, TV, or Connected Kingdom podcasts!

Practical Shepherding
You’ll want to visit an re0visit Brain Croft’s blog for a constant supply of practical ministry posts.

Pleasing Grief and Mournful Joy
This post just gets better and better.