Check out

Life after home ownership
Aaron Armstrong: “Life after home ownership has been a great gift from God for our family. Here are three reasons…”

Vacation for pastors who won’t take one
“For all the pastors who scoff at days off, come let us and reason together about how we should approach vacations and our preaching schedule.”

Read Scripture Publicly
I’d add one more point to this fine article: The least we can do in a service of one hour plus is read a whole chapter.

When despair is our only song
Eric Redmond with a touching exposition and application of Psalm 88. And here’s Depression: Hurtful things to avoid.

Has anyone seen God
Tim Challies makes some great points in answering this tricky question.

Curiosity on Mars
Mysteriously beautiful pictures from Mars (HT: Nathan Bingham).


Tweets of the Day


12 Reasons why public worship is better than private worship

If you had the choice between private Bible reading and prayer, or going to church, which would you choose?

The Puritans would choose church.

Surprising isn’t it. We all know the Puritans’ welcome emphasis on private devotion and personal godliness. But they actually rated public worship even higher. For example, David Clarkson, colleague and successor to John Owen, preached a sermon on Psalm 87v2 entitled Public worship to be preferred before private, and gave 12 reasons why:

1. The Lord is more glorified by public worship than private.
God is glorified by us when we acknowledge that He is glorious, and He is most glorified when this acknowledgement is most public.

2. There is more of the Lord’s presence in public worship than in private.
He is present with his people in the use of public worship in a special way: more effectually, constantly, and intimately.

3. God manifests himself more clearly in public worship than in private.
For example, in Revelation, Christ is manifested “in the midst of the churches.”

4. There is more spiritual advantage in the use of public worship.
Whatever spiritual benefit is to be found in private duties, that, and much more may be expected from public worship when rightly used.

5. Public worship is more edifying than private.
In private you provide for your own good, but in public you do good both to yourselves and others.

6. Public worship is a better security against apostasy than private.
He who lacks or reject public worship, whatever private means he enjoy, is in danger of apostasy.

7. The Lord works his greatest works in public worship.
Conversion, regeneration, etc., are usually accomplished through public means.

8. Public worship is the nearest resemblance of heaven.
In the Bible’s depictions of heaven, there is nothing done in private, nothing in secret; all the worship of that glorious company is public.

9. The most renowned servants of God have preferred public worship before private.
The Lord did not withdraw from public ordinances, though they were corrupt. Public worship was more precious to the apostles than their safety, liberty, and lives

10. Public worship is the best means for procuring the greatest mercies, and preventing and removing the greatest judgments.

11. The precious blood of Christ is most interested in public worship.
Private worship was required of, and performed by Adam and his posterity, even in a sinless state, but the public preaching of the Gospel and the administration of the sacraments have a necessary dependence on the death of Christ.

12. The promises of God are given more to public worship than to private.
There are more promises to public than to private worship, and even the promises that seem to be made to private duties are applicable and more powerful for public worship.

You might want to print this out and put it beside your alarm clock for next Sunday morning.

Or click through to read the sermon here.


Check out

Why William Zinsser’s writing book is still number one
I could not agree more with this article, especially it’s highlighting of pages 10 & 11. These pages revolutionized my preaching long before I ever thought of writing. I recommend these pages to all my preaching students.

Psychology Today: What Christians should think of neuroscience
Carefully balanced article by Marvin Olasky.

When feelings fail
Trillia Newbell puts words on what many feel (or, in this case, don’t feel)

Worshipping at the altar of family
This ties in with yesterday’s observation.

A Trinity of Trinitarian Books
I mentioned on Monday how few practical books there are on the Trinity. Justin Taylor to the rescue, as usual. And here’s a review of one of these books, Delighting in the Trinity.

Old Testament Exegesis
A few articles on Old Testament exegesis. Justin Taylor on Do Not Muzzle the Ox: Does Paul quote Moses out of Context? Jim Hamilton on how Typology Preserves Biblical Inerrancy Against Ehrman’s Mistake. Then Mike Leake reviews The Gospel According to Isaiah 53.


Tweets of the Day


The fastest way to discourage other Christians

How to make Christian hearts and heads droop.

Find lots of different ways of saying:

“I have the best parents in the world.”

“I have the best wife in the world.”

“I have the best kids in the world.”

“I am the best witness in the world.”

Repeat.

For a bit of variation, regularly use yourself as an example of godly character and conduct.

To make even more heads drop and hearts sink, use social media to communicate the same message.

Alternatively.

If it’s all true (perhaps the biggest “IF” in the world), thank God in privacy and humility.

Then look really, really hard for a personal weakness and boast loudly and widely about it (2 Cor. 11:30; 12:9).

And watch God be lifted up, along with lots of Christian hearts and heads.