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.


Check out

It’s time to re-think the US Education System
5 challenges to the educational status quo.

Busyness as moral laziness
Don’t think I’ll never say, “I’m busy!” again.

Rape, Pregnancy, and a woman’s freedom
What a stunner: “Rape is violating because it takes joy out of what should be a loving act. But rape doesn’t have to remove the joy out of a second loving act—the giving of life to another.” Written by a rape victim.

The Porn Gateways
You may not realize how close you are.

The Publishing Process in GIF form
Maybe you have to be a wannabe writer to get this.

The Beauty and Glory of the Holy Spirit
This book contains the 21 addressess from last year’s conferences at Greenville Seminary and Puritan Reformed Seminary.


Tweets of the Day


Fighting Falsehoods about my Heavenly Father

As so many counseling problems are at least partly caused by ignorance, error, or forgetting about God, every counseling problem finds at least part of its answer, and usually a large part, in teaching the counselee about God.

Continuing yesterday’s focus on the Fatherhood of God in counseling, I want to ask two questions: (1) What do you know about the Father? and (2) Do you know the Father? The first question is an intellectual question regarding facts. The second is an experiential question about faith.

1. What do you know about the Father?
Often a counselee will have very little knowledge or very wrong views of God the Father. I therefore want to enquire into their theology. I’ve found that most errors about God the Father revolve around four misconceptions, misconceptions that are often related to their own experience of their father.

First, there is often a misconception of hardness. Often suffering people will conclude from their pain that God does not care, at least not for them: He is unfeeling, cruel, and vindictive. Or perhaps they have been abused by a Father – verbally, physically, sexually – and transfer their earthly experience of fatherhood (or of a “father figure”) to their heavenly Father.

Second, there is a sometimes the opposite problem, a misconception of indulgence, again often a consequence of their experience of their father. Maybe they were spoiled, or they’ve seen again and again that that’s how most fathers deal with their children. Or perhaps they’ve swallowed the culture’s predominant representation of God as a cuddly cosmic sugar-daddy who gives everyone what they want.

Third, there is the classic deist misconception of God as distant and non-involved. Again, in an epidemic of absent fathers, this can be a perfectly understandable conclusion to draw.

Fourth, some can view the Father as a rather sinister figure, lurking in the background, hiding in the shadows. The Son is the loving front-figure of the Deity, but has to work very hard to keep the reluctant malevolent Father “on-board” with the plan of salvation. It’s an error that’s been around for a long time, an error that Jesus Himself faced down with: “He that has seen me has seen the Father.”

Obviously if a person believes any of these lies about God the Father, it’s going to have a huge impact on their relationship with God and upon their response to problems in their lives.

A large part of the counseling process can involve re-educating people about who God is, uncovering lies and replacing them with biblical truth.

2. Do you “know” the Father?
This question takes us into the realm of Christian experience, using “know” in the biblical sense of “having intimate personal acquaintance with.” Our questioning here is not just an intellectual fact-gathering, but a searching of the true spiritual state of a person – saved or unsaved, then healthy believer or unhealthy.

The most important question here, of course, is does the person savingly know God the Father the only way that’s possible, that is through faith in Jesus Christ (Jn. 14:6).

Assuming the answer to this is “Yes,” the major questions really center upon whether the Christian is living that out in daily life, and especially in dealing with their problems. Is there a daily walk with God? Is there a daily consciousness of God as Father?  Is there a looking to Him for guidance, wisdom, and strength? Is there a submitting to His discipline? Is there a personal relationship with this person of the Trinity? Do they really “know” the Father?

Tomorrow we’ll look at how the Fatherhood of God can offer specific help in dealing with specific counseling problems.