Check out

News Flash: Not Everyone with Down Syndrome is Suffering
“Whether with benign or malicious intentions, many people discriminate by looking at people with Down syndrome categorically, before recognizing them as individuals.”

A Break Through the Clouds
A bunt out Tim Bridges reflects on two massive lessons he learned during a month of medicinal beach sand.

Advice to young preachers
This is great advice, and not just to young preachers.

New Life Bible Conference
I went to this conference last year and had a great time. If you’re able to get there, you’ll get a treat of preaching and fellowship.

What to think when a ministry is discredited
So, it is possible to look back on the ministry of someone who has since been discredited and give thanks that God was at work, despite everything.

A Church addresses sexual abuse
On the weekend of May 18-19 The Summit Church (Durham, NC) addressed the subject of sexual abuse in all of their weekend services. This series is a reflection of those services, the preparation that went into them, and the aftercare that was provided.


Children’s Bible Reading Plan

This week’s morning and evening reading plan in Word and pdf.

This week’s single reading plan for morning or evening in Word and pdf.

If you want to start at the beginning, this is the first year of the children’s Morning and Evening Bible reading plan in Word and pdf.

Jason Henry, a missionary in Mongolia, has very kindly collated and produced the second year of morning and evening readings in Word and pdf.

And here’s the first 12 months of the Morning or Evening Bible reading plan in Word and pdf.

Here’s an explanation of the plan.

And here are the daily Bible Studies gathered into individual Bible books. Further explanation of that here.

Old Testament

New Testament


Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling

On Fridays for the next several weeks, I hope to interact with the Biblical Counseling Coalition’s new book, Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling. Not sure how it will all pan out, but my plan is to take a chapter each week, summarize the main teaching points, highlight good quotes, develop some of the ideas, and offer some constructive critique here and there. Apart from a couple of weaker chapters, there won’t be too much of the latter as this is a superb book that would benefit not just pastors and counselors but anyone who wants to learn how to help others with God’s Word. Why not read along with me and add your own comments as we go? Today we’ll start with the short introductory chapter. Next Friday I’ll take a look at Chapter 1: The Glory of God – The Goal of Biblical Counseling.

Introduction: In Christ Alone by Bob Kellemen and Steve Viars

Aim of book

To promote authentic spiritual growth among God’s people in ways that are:

(1) Grace-based and gospel-centered: Not a system or a program.

(2) Relationally and theologically robust: Relationship with God through His Word.

(3) Grounded in the local church: Caring like Christ in the body of Christ

(4) Relevant to everyday life and ministry: Speaking the truth in love to meet spiritual, emotional, and physical needs.

Structure of the Book

Chapters 1-14: A practical theology of biblical counseling

Chapters 15-28: A practical methodology of biblical counseling

Authors of the Book

The coalition of 40 authors produces variety, synergy, humility, and better resources.

Biblical Foundations of the Book

Ephesians 4:1-3; 4:15-16; 2 Peter 3:18

Comment

The Introduction sets up the book well by explaining its rationale and aim. As with everything Bob writes, the chapter is clear, concise, and well-structured. If I was just beginning in biblical counseling or even just wanting to speak more helpfully into people’s lives, I’d be encouraged that this is a book for me. And yet, the more experienced pastor or counselor will also be drawn in by the promise of more substantial discussions in some chapters. Those familiar with some of the critiques of biblical counseling will also recognize the promise to address some of these issues and offer more comprehensive care for sinners and sufferers. As a bonus, there are some great “soundbites.”

Quotables

“We are less interested in the number of disciples and more interested in the quality of discipleship.”

“We want to grow together in learning how to promote personal change centered on the person of Christ through the personal ministry of the Word.”

“Biblical Counseling does not offer a system or a program, but rather is shares a person - the Person – Jesus Christ.”

“Counseling is not ultimately about the counselee or the counselor, but about the Divine Counselor.”

“Our team rejects the notion that the Bible is simply an encyclopedia of disconnected Bible verses. God’s Word is less like a cookbook and more like a novel.”

“God calls and equips the church to be not simply a place with biblical counseling, but a place of biblical counseling.”


Check out

A heart for the poor – and a mind of economics
R.J. Moeller explains how so many adult Christians end up economically illiterate.

DSM-5: The New Normal?
A model of constructive, balanced, and concise Christian critique.

7 Ways to Boost Your Creativity
Creative thinking can be enhanced by external forces, and isn’t necessarily reliant on “good genes” or natural ability.

Christ-centered reading, preaching, and teaching
Matt Capps: “A Christ-centered hermeneutic teaches us that in every passage the canonical trajectory points us to Christ as the hero of our salvation and our sanctification…Christ-centered hermeneutics not only informs the mind, but also employs the truth to appeal to our emotions and challenge our will to respond appropriately and entirely to the good news of Jesus Christ.”

Counseled by the Puritans on Providence
15 pages of Puritan Theology summarized in 1500 words.

What’s the difference between a Social Worker and a dangerous dog?
Mez answers this question in a way that highlights important social issues in many poorer communities.


Top 70 Online Resources on the Psalms

Over the past 4-5 years I’ve been collating and cataloging online resources for teaching purposes. Recently I started posting some of these links on my blog. Previous posts include  Top 200 Online Preaching ResourcesTop 200 Online Leadership ResourcesTop 300 Online Counseling ResourcesTop 60 Online Resources for Battling Porn, and now Top 70 Online Resources on the PsalmsThey are posted in chronological order with the most recent first.

Usual disclaimer: Link does not imply full agreement or endorsement.

Book Reviews | Review: The Psalter Reclaimed – The Gospel Coalition

Amazon.com: The Psalms of David in Meter

Oceanside URC » A Christian & Reformed Church in North San Diego County » Why We Sing Old Testament Psalms

The Psalms of David – Sung a cappella

Article | First Things

BibleX: The Psalms and Heroes of the Faith

How I stopped worrying and learned to love the Psalms (3) | Defeating the Dragons

The Recapturing of Lament as a Christian Practice

BibleX: The Importance of Structure for Understanding Psalms

Three Possibilities Preaching Psalms | Biblical Preaching

BibleX: Titles in the Psalms

Psalm 8 chiasm | vassal of the King

Jesus Sings – Desiring God

Lament | Tim Archer’s Kitchen of Half-Baked Thoughts

The Psalms in Christian life

Don’t Sanitize the Psalms – The Gospel Coalition Blog

Psalms and Hymns: Confusing the Covenants and Testaments « Scripture Thoughts

Preaching the psalms | The Proclamation Trust

A Useful Resource for Psalm Singing | Heidelblog

Jesus and the Psalms by L. Michael Morales | Reformed Theology Articles at Ligonier.org

A Brief History of the Covenanters and Psalm Singing.wmv – YouTube

Read the Psalms on your knees | The Briefing

The Book of Psalms for Worship « URC Psalmody

Jesus’ Diary | Gentle Reformation

BibleX: Gaps in the Psalms

BibleX: The Psalms in Jewish Liturgy

O Sing a New Song to the Lord – Psalm Sing, Christ Church – YouTube

Does the Psalmist Believe in the Afterlife? | Denny Burk

Home – “Sing Psalms to God”

What the Psalms Do – Desiring God

5 Reasons Why I Love Preaching Psalms | Biblical Preaching

Teaching One Another In… – Feeding on Christ

Psalms for All Seasons: A Complete Psalter for Worship

“Things to Remember on the Long Walk Ahead” by Phil Johnson | Reformed Bibliophile

BibleX: Brueggemann’s Essential Books on the Psalms

Tune My Heart to Sing Thy Grace | Preaching Today

Praise the Lord: Psalm 150:: Westminster Seminary California

Resources for the psalms | The Proclamation Trust

Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs:: Westminster Seminary California

BBC Four – Musical Traditions, Make a Joyful Noise:the Metrical Psalms, The unique experience of Psalm singing

A Puritan’s Mind » Exclusive Psalmody

The Psalter: Smartphone of the Soul | Gentle Reformation

Sing the Psalms | Meet The Puritans

Do Our Worship Songs Have Room for Lament? – Justin Taylor

How the Psalms Both Express and Shape the Emotions of God’s People – Justin Taylor

A Worship Revolution « Gentle Reformation

Scottish Metrical Psalter for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad on the iTunes App Store

You Asked: Did the Apostle Peter Have a Bad Hermeneutic? – The Gospel Coalition Blog

The Practicalities of Psalmody « The Persistence of Song

Ten Principles for Church Song (Part 1) – Kevin DeYoung

Dale Ralph Davis on Preaching and Praying the Psalms « unashamed

Christ’s Inner Life…In the Psalms « unashamed

Koinonia: Blog Tour – The Essential Bible Companion to the Psalms

Responses to Lane and Others on Recovering Reformed Worship « Heidelblog

Psalm 51:7-9 – Clean Me and I will Be Clean! « Reading Acts

Word Balloons for Psalm 52 | The Scriptorium Daily: Middlebrow

Psalms: The Players « Christ the Truth

Don’t be afraid to preach to the affections | The Proclamation Trust

The Psalms as Christian Worship: Google Books

How to Preach Jesus Using the Psalms by Jason Hood – ChurchLeaders.com

Christ in the Psalms (Part II) – Second Presbyterian Church

YouTube – Psalm 23 to St Columba

Songs That Prepare Us for Death – The Gospel Coalition Blog

Recordings « Psalm Singing Online – psalm-singing.org

Carson MP3s from Australia – The Gospel Coalition Blog

Growing to Love the Psalms « YINKAHDINAY

Why Sing the Psalms in Worship? 10 Reasons « Wrath to Riches

Why Sing Psalms? « Heidelblog

The Historical Use of the Psalms

Imprecatory Psalms: Desiring God

William Ames on Singing Imprecatory Psalms | Meet The Puritans


Check out

New understanding of brain receptor may help fight neurological disorders
We don’t hear many prayers for God’s blessing on drug research. Just as well He does bless without our prayers.

How can single mothers raise godly young men?
As more single women are coming to Christ in schemes, a key question is: “How can we raise Godly young men when the father is absent, and we’re on our own?”

33 Reasons to Abstain from Porn
Jason George: “To give myself a fresh shot of motivation, every single morning I remind myself of 33 reasons why I must abstain from porn. I call it ‘My Personal Purity Motivation.’ It usually takes me about 5 minutes to read through it or to listen to it on my iPod.” (HT: Jim Hamilton)

How were people saved in the Old Testament?
Great answer from Graeme Goldsworthy.

Why every pastor should read about Melissa’s suicide
You’ll need a strong heart to read this post, and even stronger to read the book. May God grant the strength.

Why one young Houston couple won’t leave $4Billion fortune to their three children
I would have loved to be a fly on the wall at that family conference.