Check out

If you knew how much I love you
Sharon Miller dives deep into God’s love through her experience of motherhood.

The Christian Celebrity
Candid, honest, transparent, sincere, humble…Why we love Tim Challies.

Why Books are the Ultimate New Business Card
“You don’t understand,” the three-time, big-six published author told me. “Books aren’t designed for you, the customer. Today, non-fiction books are business cards–for speaking, consulting, and deals.” I hope this isn’t true in Christian publishing.

Things I’ve quit doing at my desk
“We need to think of our desks as workstations. In reality, we do all sorts of things at our desks that aren’t real work (or affect our ability to produce our best work).” You could also try flowers!

Leaders take responsibility
I know virtually nothing about American football, but Bob Kellemen draws some leadership lessons from two recent games.

American Men Don’t Sing
Marc Cortez: “In other cultures, especially in the UK, singing is a normal part of life. Men sing at football matches and in the pubs. So when they enter the church, singing is normal. But in America, it’s different.”


Tweets of the Day


Connected Kingdom: The Gospel Project

Download here.

On this week’s podcast, we’re joined by Trevin Wax, who’s packed a lot into his relatively short life: missionary to Romania (where he also met his wife), Southern Baptist associate pastor, Gospel Coalition blogger, and now Managing Editor ofThe Gospel Project. We take a quick run through Trevin’s bio before settling down to talk about the exciting work he’s been doing in preparing Gospel-centered curriculum for the whole church. We asked Trevin to “sell us” on the package and he did a pretty good job. He also answered some of the criticisms that a project of this nature inevitably attracts.

If you would like to give us feedback or join in the discussion, go ahead and look up our Facebook Group or leave a comment right here. You will always be able to find the most recent episode here on the blog. If you would like to subscribe via iTunes, you can do that here or if you want to subscribe with another audio player, you can try this RSS link.


An Eye-Opening Book

Eyes Wide Open not only opened my eyes. It also opened my mind and my heart. So enjoyably, that I’ve now read it three times in just over a month.

It also leaves me open-mouthed asking, “Why isn’t everyone talking about it? Why isn’t this book all over the Christian blogosphere?”

When I went to its Amazon page, I was stunned to discover only one review! It was a five star review, unsurprisingly. The surprise was only one review. Where are your friends when you need them!?

Marketing or Beauty Failure?
When I see the dozens of reviews and five stars attached to so many other Christian books of far less worth, I’m inclined to think that this is failure of marketing.

Or maybe it reflects a general lack of Christian interest in and passion for beauty in our world. Some Christians are perhaps too “spiritual” to see anything beautiful in the world. Others are possibly too “worldly” to appreciate beauty and see its spiritual dimensions. And the myriads of busy activists don’t want to pause and ponder: “Just give us something practical.”

A Transforming Book
So, how can I encourage you to read this book? Let me put it in one sentence: It will utterly transform the way you view, experience, and interact with the world and the God who made it. Yes, it’s one of the most spiritual, beautiful, and practical books I’ve read in a long time.

It’s good to see a growing number of Christian authors calling Christians to rediscover their biblical calling to be the greatest creators, connoisseurs, and communicators of beauty. But I’d recommend this book to thoughtful non-Christians too as it paints a picture of Gospel-centered Christianity in such a positively beautiful and inspiring light.

Top Ten Truths from the Book

1. God created beauty, is the Beauty behind every beauty, and is the measure of what is truly beautiful.

2. As God created beauty to lead our affections to Him, all created beauty should lead us to give thanks, honor, and worship to Him. The ultimate goal of all beauty is wonder and worship.

3. Nature is God’s self-portrait…God creates beauty so we can know what He is like. God made everything – every atom, every grain of sand, every bird, every water molecule, every person (including you) – as a reflection of His nature.

4. As should be expected of those made in the image of the Creator our passion for creating and the pleasure we experience from human creativity dominates our lives and culture: home décor, landscaping, photography, clothes, woodwork, bird-watching, scrapbooking, sports, mowing straight lines, fit bodies, etc.

5. Jesus is the Beautiful One. His beauty is a tapestry of all that is glorious in God intertwined with humanity’s capability to reflect the image of God.

6. Humanity’s blindness to Jesus’ beauty is spiritually devastating.

7. Until we see the beauty of Christ, we will never see the true beauty in anything else. If we love Him, we will love seeing Him in all the created wonders in this world. Once our heart is alive to God’s beauty in Christ, it is also alive to God’s beauty everywhere else.

8. Our five senses should become partners with the eyes of the heart in perceiving the glory of God…Everywhere I look, everything I feel, hear, smell, and taste transmits the beauty of God through the beauty of creation.

9. A Christian’s experience of wonder and joy in beauty should be far greater than that of a non-Christian. A Christian’s God-focused enjoyment of creation makes it taste better, look better, feel better, smell better, and sound better. Eternal beauty will remind us of this world’s wonders and pleasures, but only faintly. We won’t miss them or long for them.

10. Heaven will be a super-sensory, indescribable, and joyous experience of beauty that will turn seamlessly unite pleasure and worship.

Top Ten Quotes from the Book

1. Beauty is both a gift and a map. It is a gift to be enjoyed and a map to be followed back to the source of the beauty with praise and thanksgiving.

2. Beauty boomerangs from God into created beauty, then through the senses and soul of the image-bearer, and finally back to God with praise and glory.

3. Alice must grow small if she is to be Alice in Wonderland. – G. K. Chesterton

4. Since everything God created is theology (God-knowledge) all creation is a treasure hunt in which God has left clues—essentially pictures of Himself.

5. Like a bread-crumb trail, earthly beauty chaperones us on a path to “see” the beauty of Christ, for His beauty to lead to wonder, and for wonder to lead us to a life of worship.

6. Each human person individually bears more of a reflection of God than the rest of the universe combined.

7. It’s only the serious theologians who are on the beach at sunset. I refer to us as “theologians” because, whether we realize it or not, we are all going to enjoy a theological experience.

8. Art has the mystical task of reminding us in its productions of the beautiful that was lost and of anticipating its perfect coming luster. – Abraham Kuyper

9. The Son of God was a carpenter. He created things. That says something, doesn’t it? God likes it when image-bearers reflect His character by creating beauty.

10. Beauty is beautiful no matter who makes it.


Check out

Read the text, the whole text, and nothing but the text
Really helpful handout from Paul Martin’s Preacher’s School, “a series we run in our local church (you can read about it here). It is aimed at men who have a desire to preach God’s Word, but have no formal theological training.”

Why Jonah Lehrer’s Imagine is worth reading despite the problems
Yes, Jonah Lehrer made some really bad mistakes. But I agree with Roy Clark, accept his apology, make the corrections, and enjoy the superb work he has done in making science accessible and enjoyable.

Hodge’s Six Methods of Santification
And Joe Thorn does a Lehrer on Hodge’s theology – simplifying and summarizing sanctification.

Gaining the Whole World Wide Web Without Losing our Souls
Amy Simpson: “Part of using the Internet well has to be learning how to not use it. Also critical is using it to truly connect and to do good work rather than simply plug into the nonstop flow of information—most of which we don’t need and won’t retain.”

The Tangled Web of Conflicting Rights
George Will: “In the name of tolerance, government declares intolerable individuals such as the Huguenins, who disapprove of a certain behavior but ask only to be let alone in their quiet disapproval. Perhaps advocates of gay rights should begin to restrain the bullies in their ranks.”

The Pulpit in the Clown
Paul Levy: “If we’re honest, too many of us have very few non Christian friends and so we allow our churchiness  and oddness to grow.”


Tweets of the Day