Check out

Blogs

Smartphones, Tablets, and Christian Parenting | Moore to the Point

BibleX | The Seminary Bookstore

The Doxological Nature of Calvinism by Sinclair Ferguson | Ligonier Ministries Blog

10 Steps for Interracial Relationships that Advance the Gospel | The Gospel Coalition

Credo Magazine | The Pastor and Counseling: An interview with Jeremy Pierre

Student Turns Down Every Ivy League School for U of Alabama | Alex Chediak

Does the Son Eternally Submit to the Authority of the Father? | A Daughter of the Reformation
Looks like this is going to be an important issue.

Kindle Books

The 40 Most Influential Christians . . . Who Shaped What We Believe Today by Daryl Aaron $1.99

Text-Driven Preaching: God’s Word at the Heart of Every Sermon edited by David Allen $2.99.

Shaping a Christian Worldview: The Foundation of Christian Higher Education by David Dockery $2.99.

Video

A promotional video for an October conference in Kentucky on the doctrines of grace. More details here.


A New (And Big) Book On The Christian Ministry

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The Christian Ministry: 250 Articles On Pastoring, Preaching, Counseling, and Leading ($2.99).

After 20 years of pastoral ministry, 12 years of training pastors in seminaries, and many years of blogging, writing, and speaking about pastoral ministry, I thought I might have enough material to put together an eBook on The Christian Ministry. What surprised me when I got down to it was just how much material I had for the book. After some ruthless pruning, I eventually got it down to about 250 articles, 700 plus pages, and 170,000 words divided into four categories: pastoring, preaching, counseling, and leading.

  • PASTORING: Shepherding, celebrity pastors, pastoral visitation, rookie pastors, pastoral joys (and miseries), call to the ministry, leaving a church, evangelism, social media, church discipline, hate mail, caring for the body, etc.
  • PREACHING: Sermon preparation, teaching tips, balanced preaching, evangelistic preaching, preaching without notes, and numerous articles on preaching Christ from the Old Testament.
  • COUNSELING: Counseling training, the sufficiency of Scripture, hospital visitation, pornography, mental health, depression, stress, suicide, etc.
  • LEADING: Church meetings, hiring, administration, workaholism, leadership types, control-freaks, etc.

You can also read much more on pastoral leadership in The Happy Leader, one of the books included in A Bundle of Joy: Six Books on Christian Happiness.

BIG THANK YOUS to Faculty assistant, Esther Engelsma, and my personal assistant, Sarah Perez, for all their hours of help with this project.

The Christian Ministry $2.99


Check out

Blogs

In Irish Catholicism, it seems, God can be outvoted | The Spectator
Another atheist, this time a gay one, supplies the church with some good arguments to use in the face of the homosexual marriage tsunami.

Win the World with Hope | Desiring God
Good to see the existential argument for Christian faith being given more airplay in various places.

Eleven Things Pastors Need to Know Their Spouses Are Thinking | Thom Rainer
Thom Rainer could make a lot of men pay a lot of money if he really can read women’s minds.

Columns from Tabletalk Magazine, June 2015 | Ligonier Ministries Blog
Monthly freebies from Tabletalk to induce a very worthwhile subscription.

What Was Samson Doing with a Prostitute in Gaza? | The Gospel Coalition
Along with Jephthah, another Judge begins to get his reputation resurrected.

What Death Has To Say To Today’s Graduates | The Federalist
Probably not the commencement speech you were hoping for.

Are you ready to DO Summer? | Jon Acuff
I’m going to use this challenge to learn Spanish using DuoLingo.

How the Navy SEALs Train for Leadership Excellence | HBR
How the SEAL Sniper school went from an attrition rate of 30% to less than 5%.

Kindle Books

Introverts in the Church: Finding Our Place in an Extroverted Culture by Adam McHugh $2.99.

The Cross and Christian Ministry: An Exposition of Passages from 1 Corinthians by D A Carson $1.99.

The Ever-Loving Truth: Can Faith Thrive in a Post-Christian Culture? by Voddie Baucham $0.99.

Rediscovering Holiness: Know the Fullness of Life with God by J I Packer $2.99.

New Book Recommendation

Luther on the Christian Life: Cross and Freedom by Carl Truman.

Rarely have a subject and an author been so well-matched.


Some Responses To “Caitlyn”

In connection with the Bruce Jenner tragedy (can nobody see the irony in using Vanity Fair for this), here are some responses to help you talk to your kids and to everyone else who thinks this is the most important issue in the world right now.

Bruce Jenner Is Not Brave | The Federalist

Bruce “Caitlyn” Jenner Needs Our Prayers Not Our Applause | David French

#2 In The Briefing Podcast Transcript

What The Church Should Say To Bruce Jenner | Russell Moore

Caitlyn Jenner And Love In The Future Tense | TGC

Some persuasive stats and argument in this one written by a non-Christian: Trans-gender Surgery Isn’t The Solution

Other helpful articles on the subject of transgender, written pre-Caitlyn.

Transgender: When Psychological Identity Trumps Bodily Identity | Denny Burk

Fifty-Six Shades Of Gender Insanity (this one written by a former transgender)

The Plastic Man | Gentle Reformation

Bruce Jenner, the Transgender Revolution, and Loving Our Neighbors | Denny Burk

Some Shortcomings of Modern Views on Gender Identity | Denny Burk

10 ways to love your transgender neighbor | Denny Burk

I am Ryland: The Story of a Male-identifying Little Girl Who Didn’t Transition


8 Ways To Honor Marriage

We honor marriage because God honors it. Indeed the whole Trinity testifies that marriage is honorable.

  • God the Father honored it by designing, instituting, regulating, and witnessing the first marriage. God defines it’s nature, its parties, and its terms. 
  • Christ honored it by performing his first miracle at a wedding (John 2) and using marriage in quite a few parables
  • The Holy Spirit honored it by making it a picture of the church in Ephesians 5.

We also honor marriage because God commands it to be honored (Heb 13:4). Here are eight ways we can do this.

1. We honor it by praying for it

Some people will pray for a parking spot but never pray for a wife or a husband. They think it’s too much to ask. Or they’ll pray for their kids to get into college but not that they’d get into a good marriage. By not asking God for marriage for themselves or their loved ones, they are dishonoring marriage and the God who can give it.

A fund raiser once told me that some wealthy people he knows are actually insulted if he doesn’t ask them for money, or if he asks them for too little. Instead they feel honored that he should ask them and that he should ask them for so much.

Honor God and marriage by asking for happy and fruitful marriages for yourself and for your children. Let it never be said, “You have not, because you ask not.” Or “You ask not because you value not.”

2. We honor it by seeking partners according to God’s Word

God has clearly set out that Christians should only marry in the Lord (1 Cor. 7:39) and that there are certain characteristics and qualifications to look for in a wife or husband. We honor God when we comply with the Maker’s instructions for marriage.

3. We honor it by waiting for it

God has forbidden sexual intimacy before marriage. We’re not permitted an appetizer, not even a sip; that only spoils the feast. Honor marriage by waiting for it.

4. We honor it by entering into it at appropriate ages

We can dishonor marriage by getting married too young, when there’s little understanding or appreciation of marriage, when one or both parties are too flippant or frivolous about it. But we also dishonor it by delaying too long, by putting it off later and later in life.

5. We honor it by organizing Christ-centered weddings

Some weddings have virtually no reference to God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, or the Gospel. The messages are just full of do’s and don’ts, the speeches are irreverent and risqué. It’s like receiving the greatest gift from someone and then not even thanking them, or worse, making fun of him and his values. Honor marriage by honoring God on your marriage day.

6. We honor it by avoiding debt-laden weddings

The average wedding in America now costs $31,000! What a way to start out in married life. It’s like starting a race with lead weights tied round your ankles. It is wrong, displeasing to God, and damaging to everyone.

7. We honor it by taking on the roles God has designed

The wife’s role and the husband’s role have each been designed by God to show the relationship between Christ and church – the man to primarily show Christ’ love, the woman to primarily show the believer’s obedience.

8. We honor it by defending and promoting it.

We oppose every attempt to re-define marriage. But we must to more than defend marriage and oppose its attackers. We must also promote it by demonstrating what a wonderful thing it is – especially to our children. We must demonstrate its benefits.

The Puritan Daniel Rogers wrote:

Marriage is the preservative of chastity, the seminary of the commonwealth, seed plot of the church, pillar of the world, right hand of providence, supporter of laws, states, orders, offices, gifts, and services; the glory of peace, the sinews of war, the maintenance of policy, the life of the dead, the solace of the living, the ambition of virginity, the foundation of countries, cities, universities, succession of families, crowns, and kingdoms.


Check out

Blogs

Five Ways to Go Wrong with Church Discipline | Parchment and Pen Blog
Pair with the next link.

5 Prayers for When Conflict Strikes | TGC | The Gospel Coalition
Seem to always be in need of these prayers.

Sacrifices by Fire | Gentle Reformation
I went paperless a few years ago but I still didn’t have the strength and logic to do what Barry York did – burn all his old sermons.

Dear Graduate | Desiring God
Dear Graduate, read the next link too.

How My Family Escaped The College Rat Race
With one son in college and the other beginning, I’m always grateful for families who share their encouraging stories of doing college on a budget.

Connected Fools | Nathan W. Bingham
Always worth listening to Ligonier’s social media expert when he talks technology.

Legalism(s) – Reformation21 Blog
Legalism expert (that’s a compliment), Mark Jones, splits legalism into a number of different categories. If it doesn’t catch you one way, it’ll sneak up on you some other way.

The Trouble With Gay Marriage
This was written by an atheist, and he makes some good points; but his explanation is incomplete. Gay marriage is not about gay marriage. It’s a desperate attempt to silence the voice of God’s condemnation in their consciences by using marriage to put a stamp of state and societal approval on their unions and relationships. And when that is not enough – and it won’t be – then they will try to silence every single Christian who still says, “This is wrong.” And even if every nation puts its stamp of approval on them, and they manage to stamp out every Christian voice of opposition, they will never silence or stamp out the voice of God within.

Kindle Books

Bella’s Gift: How One Little Girl Transformed Our Family and Inspired a Nation by Rick Santorum $0.99.

Gods at War: Defeating the Idols that Battle for Your Heart by Kyle Idleman $2.99.

How to Talk to a Skeptic: An Easy-to-Follow Guide for Natural Conversations and Effective Apologetics by Donald Johnson $1.99.

Killjoys by John Piper $2.99.

More Kindle books at great prices here.

Recommended New Book

Developments in Biblical Counseling by Cameron Fraser $5.99.

Also endorsed by J I Packer. Cameron knows his subject, writes simply and clearly, and assesses positions in a fair and balanced way. This book will help readers navigate the different approaches in biblical counseling.

Video

A Conversation on Inspiration and Inerrancy with Michael Kruger, Darrell Bock, and Andreas Köstenberger | Canon Fodder

Can’t find embed links for this, but you can see the video conversation here.