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Blogs

How a 29-Year-Old G. K. Chesterton Flipped 4 Arguments Against Christianity Upside-Down | TGC
“Chesterton did not dismiss the arguments against Christianity. He recognized the truth in each objection, but then he turned the objection inside out in order to make a case against the skeptic. His conclusion is just as memorable as his defense, with a brilliant twist at the end:”

5 benefits of praying the Psalms | Southern Blog
“Praying the Bible means talking to God about what comes to mind as you read the Bible. Usually you might read the passage first, then go back and pray through what you just read.”

18 Reasons the Abortion Industry is Losing Its Support by George Grant | Ligonier Ministries Blog
“In short, one scandal after another has hit the abortion industry, its medical personnel, its educators, its researchers, its lobbyists, and its administrators. As a result, its ‘Teflon’ reputation is starting to wear a little thin and its ‘grand illusion’ has begun to lose its luster.”

A Fragile Life Worth All Our Love | Desiring God
“I was 21 years old when I sat in a high-risk pregnancy clinic with my wife after her level-two ultrasound. Doctors told us Levi had all the markers for Down syndrome. After declining an amniocentesis, we were ushered straight away into the next room where a genetic counselor told us we had ‘options.’ She explained we were too far along at 22-weeks pregnant to terminate in Minnesota, but they could connect us with someone in Chicago or Phoenix. My wife and I sat shell-shocked – first from the news about our son’s diagnosis and second from the attempts to exterminate him.”

The Character of the Christian: Above Reproach | Tim Challies
This is a calling not just for elders, but for all Christians. Tim unpacks what this means in our lives.

What are the most up-to-date stats on porn? | Covenant Eyes
Information about current stats as well as the Set Free Summit in the Spring.

Kindle Books


Making a Difference in Preaching: Haddon Robinson on Biblical Preaching by Haddon Robinson ($1.99)


The Top Ten Mistakes Leaders Make by Hans Finzel ($2.99)


Visions of Vocation: Common Grace for the Common Good by Steven Garber ($2.99)

Video

Marco Rubio: Pastor in Chief?
I can’t quite figure out Marco Rubio. This is impressive, but in another video, he says he is “I am fully, theologically and doctrinally aligned with the Roman Catholic Church.”


If you can beat this sin, you can beat them all

The past few days we’ve been shuddering at three R-Rated biblical images of the tongue: A Dangerous Fire, A World of Evil, and a Savage Beast. The fourth and final image that the Apostle James horrifies us with is that of a Polluted Spring.

Residents in Flint, Michigan, understand this better than anyone right now. For years their taps supplied them with clear, clean water. A couple of years ago the city decided to change water supplier. Little did the residents know that the same taps that had refreshed them for years were now pumping polluted water into their lives. Not until a spike in numerous illnesses was noticed at local hospitals some months later did investigations discover that the water had dangerously high levels of lead in it. The same tap that had been a source of health was now a source of illness. We protest, “These things ought not so to be!”

That’s exactly what James exclaims when he sees some who had been praising God turn to gossiping about those who bear God’s image (James 3:9-11).

James Montgomery Boice summed this scenario up best with a sermon entitled “Ten Minutes After the Sermon.” If I recall correctly, his points were: (1) From Glorying to Gossip, (2) From Catechism to Criticism, (3) From Worshipping to Wounding, (4) From Praising to Polluting.

It’s piercing, isn’t it! Because we’ve all done it. And it’s so, so easy to keep doing it. In fact, it’s the hardest thing in the world to stop. So much so that James says: “If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body” (James 3:2). That’s right, if we can conquer this sin, we can conquer them all. If your tongue is not a dangerous fire, or a world of evil, or a savage beast, or a polluted spring, you are PERFECT.

But James is only being hypothetical, isn’t he?

Not necessarily.

Is it not likely that when James thought of this possibility of a perfect man, he was thinking of his own brother, the Lord Jesus? The one whose lips were so “full of grace and truth” that “all marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth” (Luke 4:22). Even His enemies exclaimed: “Never man spoke like this man” (John 7:46).

James brings me from my own imperfections to Christ’s perfections and reminds me that Christ’s tongue has been imputed to me. My Judge looks at my tongue and, instead of seeing a jungle full of wild animals, He sees a tongue full of grace and truth. Instead of seeing an R-Rating, He sees a G. Indeed, He sees perfection.

If Christ can beat that sin, He can beat them all.


Check out

Blogs

Why I Wrote a Book about the Marrow Controversy | Crossway: Sinclair Ferguson
“Almost everywhere I have gone to preach, speak, or lecture, someone has said to me, “I have listened to your Marrow tapes [yes, "tapes"!]“”

Dealing with Winter Time Depression | Biblical Counseling Coalition ” Charles Hodges
“For reasons only my ancestors know, I live on the gloomy side of winter in Indiana. My earliest childhood memories of winter seemed to be mostly in black and white, because for days the sun just didn’t shine. And, while I have not suffered anything near a DSM-5 defined depression, the grayness of winter holds little joy for me. My mood shifts with the sunshine. I suspect that is true for many of us.”

7 Ways to Grow in the Art of Communication | Ligonier: Joel Beeke
“We need to understand that communication is an art that we all must learn better. It does not come naturally. Here are seven principles to help you to grow in this art, that you might teach your children:”

For the success of others | Gentle Reformation
“Here’s what stood out to me the most: Dave was deeply and genuinely delighted when he believed one of his disciples surpassed him in some way or another. He was quick to point out how this one became such a great preacher or how this other one had a better way with certain people. Although we would shudder to ever claim such things, it gave Dave such joy.”

Going All-in With Ebook | Tim Challies
Tim is definitely selling his library. Probably.

Dietary Laws and the Gospel | The Christward Collective: Charles Barrett
“Each year Christians set out to read through the Bible in a year. Expectations are set and excitement runs high. But it is not long into the reading program the reader commences the book of Leviticus. Starting with laws pertaining to the various offerings the reader enters a world that seems far and distant from his own. We find little to immediately encourage our walk with the Lord and so the temptation to skip over the book or move to the New Testament increases.”

Kindle Books

Questioning Evangelism by Randy Newman $1.99. “A much-needed look at sharing Christ with unbelievers, based not on the techniques of guerrilla hard-sell tactics, but on engaging questions and caring interaction.”

Divine Design: God’s Complementary Roles for Men and Women by John Macarthur $2.99.

New Books

Portraits of Faith

New book from Joel Beeke published by RHB: Portraits of Faith: What Five Biblical Characters Teach Us About Our Life with God.

Video

Master Penman Jake Weidmann

I find it really easy to worship my Creator why I see such creativity in his image-bearers.


The Beast That Cannot Be Tamed

Every kind of animal, fish, or bird can be tamed. Savage lions can be made to jump through hoops, hawks can sit on a man’s hand to do his bidding, serpents can be trained to dance, and killer whales are Seaworld entertainers.

That’s not just a modern phenomena. The Apostle James surveyed the whole animal kingdom of his day and concluded:  ”For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind” (James 3:7).

But then he stops as his eyes lock on a beast that “no man can tame.” What is it? Look closer. It’s the human tongue!

It is fiercer than a lion, has sharper talons that a hawk, is full of deadly poison, and has killed multitudes.

James is saying that we would have a better chance of going into a jungle, meeting a tiger, and taming it, than we have hope of taming our own tongues. Yes, it’s easier to tame a tiger than a tongue.

If you were told that a tiger had gotten into your house, you’d go home from work a bit more carefully, wouldn’t you? You’d approach the door with extreme caution. You’d open the door only having taken multiple precautions.

James is calling us to exercise the same care and caution with our tongues. To open our mouths with the same trepidation as opening that house door.

As Winston Churchill said, “The power of man has grown in every sphere except over himself.”

But there’s hope here amidst the warnings. Notice, it says, no man can tame. No MAN can.

But GOD can.

God can tame our tongue and turn it from being a killer to a creator, from being a destroyer to being a creator.


Check out

Blogs

The Christian Reader’s Resource Guide | Gospel Relevance
Here’s a contender for “Blog post of the year.”

“I’ve searched the most trusted sites and names, and I came up with the list below to help you find a good book on essentially any topic of interest for Christians. This list is by no means exhaustive, and I don’t necessarily agree with every book from every list. Still, this is a decent place to start.”

Hi, I’m a digital junkie, and I suffer from infomania | LA Times
“There’s another word for my problem. It’s infomania, defined by the Oxford dictionary as “the compulsive desire to check or accumulate news and information, typically via mobile phone or computer.” And I’m far from alone.”

Down’s Syndrome people risk ‘extinction’ at the hands of science, fear and ignorance | Telegraph
“Down’s Syndrome people risk ‘extinction’ at the hands of science, fear and ignorance Society doesn’t do enough to show women carrying a baby with Down’s that the life inside them is precious, intelligent and capable of so much”

Why We Should Read Books | Aimee Byrd
“For anyone who doesn’t read many books anymore or who thinks we have all we need on the internet, I wanted to share a few reasons why we should still read books.”

Feeding on Christ Not-So-Great Expectations | Feeding on Christ: Nick Batzig
“Here are five areas to guard against when seeking to avoid allowing unbiblical, unrealistic or uncommunicated expectations of others to cause discord in the local church”

Nothing Can Take Down U.S. Marines – Except Politicos
With my oldest son heading of to Marine boot camp in a few weeks, I’m reading such articles with new interest.

Kindle Books

What They Didn’t Teach You in Seminary: 25 Lessons for Successful Ministry in Your Church by James Emery White $2.99.

Convictional Civility: Engaging the Culture in the 21st Century $0.99.

God’s Will: Finding Guidance for Everyday Decisions by J I Packer $0.99.

Video

Michigan Whitetail Pursuit: Season 6 Trailer

Calvin Beeke, Dr. Joel Beeke’s son, runs a few business, one of which is making DVDs of deer hunting in Michigan. Here’s the trailer for the latest DVD. You can buy them and find out more here.


A Few Inches of Flesh – A Big World of Evil

GlobeMost of us have a world globe somewhere in our homes.

Few of us realize we have one in our mouths as well.

That’s what James says in his second R-Rated picture of the tongue. He calls it “a world of iniquity” (James 3:6).

Just as the world is characterized by vastness and variety, so our tongues have such a variety and vastness of sin in them that they are rightly compared to a world globe. Calvin said that “a slender portion of the flesh contains the whole world of iniquity.” It’s a microcosm of the world’s evil.

If you want a flavor of the world of evil in the tongue, have a look at the Westminster Larger Catechism’s list of the sins forbidden in the ninth commandment:

The sins forbidden in the ninth commandment are, all prejudicing the truth, and the good name of our neighbors, as well as our own, especially in public judicature; giving false evidence, suborning false witnesses, wittingly appearing and pleading for an evil cause, outfacing and overbearing the truth; passing unjust sentence, calling evil good, and good evil; rewarding the wicked according to the work of the righteous, and the righteous according to the work of the wicked; forgery, concealing the truth, undue silence in a just cause, and holding our peace when iniquity calls for either a reproof from ourselves, or complaint to others; speaking the truth unseasonably, or maliciously to a wrong end, or perverting it to a wrong meaning, or in doubtful and equivocal expressions, to the prejudice of truth or justice;speaking untruth, lying, slandering, backbiting, detracting, tale bearing, whispering, scoffing, reviling, rash, harsh, and partial censuring; misconstructing intentions, words, and actions; flattering, vainglorious boasting, thinking or speaking too highly or too meanly of ourselves or others; denying the gifts and graces of God; aggravating smaller faults; hiding, excusing, or extenuating of sins, when called to a free confession;unnecessary discovering of infirmities; raising false rumors, receiving and countenancing evil reports, and stopping our ears against just defense; evil suspicion; envying or grieving at the deserved credit of any, endeavoring or desiring to impair it, rejoicing in their disgrace and infamy; scornful contempt, fond admiration; breach of lawful promises; neglecting such things as are of good report, and practicing, or not avoiding ourselves, or not hindering: What we can in others, such things as procure an ill name.

That’s about fifty different continents of evil, all of which most of us will have visited by the end of our lives. All without leaving our homes!

There’s only one tongue that has never vacationed in any of these places, not even for a second. Instead, Christ’s tongue was described as “full of grace and truth.” A world of grace!

No wonder those who heard him “wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth” (Luke 4:22) and hardened Roman soldiers admitted, “Never man spoke like this man” (John 7:46).