Here is one I started and never really finished, so I’ll put it up as an abbreviated holiday link post.
Here is one I started and never really finished, so I’ll put it up as an abbreviated holiday link post.
Of the reading of many books… – Reformation21 Blog – more on this balanced view later…
More than a Game: A Theology of Sport | Themelios from The Gospel Coalition – This has been mentioned on Twitter about 100 times, but in case any of you missed it, this is a great article on sports. I’ve read about people who say watching sports is bad, like it’s a god, and other people never give it a second thought. This is about sports from a Biblical view.
Too often, when I’ve mentioned my chronic pain to fellow believers, they’ve responded with a possible cure or treatment. “You should see a chiropractor.” “How much magnesium are you getting?” “Are you familiar with essential oils?” Certainly these responses mean well, but they aren’t the most loving. Instead, we can offer each other a listening ear, offer sincere encouragement, and pray for the sufferer. I’ve probably received more than 100 potential cures and pieces of advice in the past year, and almost every suggestion has been unique. In other words, what works for one person’s experience of pain most likely won’t work for another’s.
In dealing with various chronic conditions, including pain and mental health issues, I’ve gotten this from all angles, although I’ve had it much less worse than many other people. I could write half a book about this. But that’s not really what the article is about. I just thought I’d post my ‘favorite’ part.
I haven’t quite come to the point where I can say that pain, both physical and mental, is a gift, as is written in the article, or that I see it that way. But without it, I don’t think God would have brought me so much closer to him than otherwise, and I am grateful that God does work through suffering. I can now see the paucity of my commitment and zeal in the past, even though I thought I was so deadly serious about my relationship with God, and now long for much more.
I’ll be working on some posts for after Christmas.
Seven Sentimental Lies You Might Believe | Desiring God – This is my big pet peeve area. It also mentions the movie The Princess Bride.
Saint Augustine on Prayer | Monergism – Excellent–I love what he says about suffering.
God Actually Spoke To Me – This is a rehash of a Piper devotional, which I read originally, but it’s just as great the 2nd time around.
Luther on Book-Showers and Big, Long, Shaggy Donkey Ears – Reformation21 Blog – The first part of this is one of a few reasons that compelled me to use Professor Horner’s reading plan and spend more time reading the Bible.
[Carl Trueman] An Accidental Feminist? | MOS – Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals – I’ve always felt similarly. It’s also strange when men get to determine what women should and shouldn’t be able to do outside of what the Bible clearly states for the church. That’s why the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood always kind of creeped me out.
When you think you know the Bible but you don’t… | Cryptotheology – Why Bible trivia might be an enlightening thing if done well
I’m still here and still have ideas for posts. The mojo should come back at some point, God willing.
Baker Book House Church Connection | How Well Do You Really Know Greek? – Can we even trust our commentaries?
Jesus our Pilot « The Reformed Reader – God is not our “co-pilot”. If you hear somebody say this, in the most polite manner, tell them it’s idiotic.
How I Read, Take Notes, and Process Information from Books — Danny Zacharias – Not the typical methods that I’ve seen
You Should Care | Monergism – Monergism and Seinfeld?
I realize I haven’t been blogging much lately. Hopefully I’ll get back into it at some point.
Does the Gospel Threaten? – Reformation21 Blog – Fear God; Fear the Gospel
Baker Book House Church Connection | John Frame’s Thoughts on Joel Osteen – He goes way easier on him than I would, and leaves out much of what I’ve seen of him, including interviews where he can’t bring himself to say that Jesus is the only way to the Father. But it somehow seems instructive to me, since he seems to have thought this out and tried to look at him objectively.
My Bible… My Idol? – It would be nice if this could be put to rest.
‘Yeah, well they all thought the earth was flat, too…’ | Cryptotheology – Not everybody thought the earth was flat; the Bible is silent on it. (So I wish some people would stop using it as an argument!)
When we have the entire Bible available as an app on our smartphones, it seems an unnecessary waste of time and effort to memorize specific verses or the grand narrative of the story. By relying on technology to do our remembering for us, we have forgotten the moral aspect of memorization. “A trained memory wasn’t just about gaining easy access to information,” says Jonathan Foer, referring to the ancient world, “it was about strengthening one’s personal ethics and becoming a more complete person.” Foer adds that the thinking of the ancients was that only through memorization could ideas truly be incorporated into one’s psyche and their values absorbed. “Indeed, the single most common theme in the lives of the saints—besides their superhuman goodness—is their often extraordinary memories,” Foer notes.
Albert Einstein reportedly said, “Never memorize something that you can look up.” That doesn’t apply to Scripture.
I memorize for many reasons. It’s obviously a gift from God because it’s not something I could normally do. One of the lesser reasons I memorize Scripture, which may be paranoid, is that if I ever become blind, I will have a lot of Scripture in my head. It’s the same reason I collect free Christian audio books when they’re offered. I can certainly confirm what’s written in this article, as can just about everyone else who has Scripture memorized. It’s a great angle to look at it from.
Logic Proves Women Are Spiritual Leaders Over Men? | Tim's Blog – Just One Train Wreck After Another – Logic. It’s a good thing.
Until Someone Unsettles It | Blog and Mablog – My annual link defending young earth
Surveying the Text: Ecclesiastes | Blog and Mablog – Another from Doug Wilson – A good intro to Ecclesiastes
A Prophet for an Un-discerning Church | MOS – Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals – I’ve thought similar to this article for a few years and caught a little flack from it. A pastor would need to be very brave because so many women would be on his case about this.
Beth Moore Deserves Better | MOS – Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals – Another perspective
I include the above two links because for a few years I have felt similarly to what’s written in the first post, and think that they can write about this topic much better than I can. Beth Moore and the also mentioned Joyce Meyer have a very significant influence on a lot of women. I fully endorse what the above posts say. (If you read the first, please read the second.) If I get criticized, it’s OK. My blog allows comments and theirs do not, so I’m taking a risk. Most supporters will say, “But she’s done so much good for so many people.” Misguided teaching and sloppy use of Scripture will lead many people to bad soil (Mark 4:3-9). There are so many better teachers out there. Look for anything by Nancy Guthrie as an example, both as a writer and editor. If you’d like to hear from a woman on a similar subject, Aimee Byrd, who completes the trio of The Mortificatin of Spin, can be heard on one of their shorter podcasts called Best Seller Sell-Outs. Discernment is lacking among many evangelicals of either gender these days.
God might call you to be ignored
“We speak [the gospel], we pray, we plead… and there’s nothing. For many, your words are nothing more than the incoherent mutterings of Charlie Brown’s school teacher.” This is encouraging for me, I guess.
Tangled Up in Blue: Depression and the Christian Life – Reformation21 – a repeat, but worth it
Spurgeon’s Sorrows: Realistic Hope for Those Who Suffer from Depression | Westminster Bookstore – $5.50 or less – I haven’t read it but there is a sample available
These are a lot of links. I think there are some good ones. I probably won’t post much or anything through at least the 29th.
Acts 17:11 Bible Study: Theology – The Knowledge of God – C.S. Lewis on Theology
Christmas: Night and Day “So the message is far more good news declaration than it is argumentation.”
Baker Book House Church Connection | How Do Mountains and Stars Worship? – I’ve often wondered this too. Although I don’t think of worship as only “verbal, emotionally charged expressions of praise”. Many everyday things, from drinking a cup of coffee to taking care of my body by exercising it are part of worshiping God.
Baker Book House Church Connection | Moisés Silva on “Agape” Love – It’s more than what you think
I’ll just post this for the long weekend to give you any reading material you might want.
I pray that anyone reading this will have a nice Thanksgiving, for those who celebrate it. For those with no family or who are going through afflictions in any way, I pray that God’s grace will be sufficient for you. Let’s remember that not everybody is happy and shiny during holidays.
Pitting Holiness Against Holiness – we are made holy; we are to be holy
Let us have a great esteem of the Lord’s prayer; let it be the model and pattern of all our prayers. There is a double benefit arising from framing our petitions suitably to this prayer. Hereby error in prayers is prevented. It is not easy to write wrong after this copy; we cannot easily err when we have our pattern before us. Hereby mercies requested are obtained; for the apostle assures us that God will hear us when we pray ‘according to his will.’ I John V 14. And sure we pray according to his will when we pray according to the pattern he has set us. So much for the introduction to the Lord’s prayer, ‘After this manner pray ye.’
“Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1).
–Thomas Watson, The Lord’s Prayer, 2.
Union with Christ (eBooks) | Monergism – I will be reading the ones by Watson and Horton – I found that a good way to convert a web page to ePub is to save it in a word processor as an HTML document, then use Calibre to convert it to ePub
Why Christians Should Listen to Mike Rowe on (Not) 'Following Your Passion' | Acton PowerBlog – goes along with ‘if you can dream it, you can do it’, ‘you can do anything you put your mind to’
Lumina – new Bible.org Bible study app
I don’t know if I’ve ever written ‘must read’ other than I feel that the book Knowing God is a must read for every Christian, especially those somewhat new (advanced beginner?), as far as I’m concerned.
I found a blog post titled Bible Ignorance at Reformation21 Blog to be one of the best posts I’ve ever read. It’s aimed largely at ministers and students of theology. I’m not pointing it out for ministers; I think this applies to any student of theology, which is all of us.
You can just stop reading here and go there if you’d like.
A few years ago I made a commitment to make sure I read the Bible every single day.* What’s being said in this article makes that seem like nothing, not that I’m minimizing the importance of it. It’s nothing new; nothing we probably haven’t read before, but it really hit me this time. Matthew Henry says to pray using the language of the Bible. D.A. Carson urges us to imitate Paul in our praying. Comparing my worldly prayers to Paul’s really changed how and what I pray for. This can’t happen without knowing the Bible.
Scripture is so deep and multi-faceted, not just because of what’s written, but because the Holy Spirit opens our eyes to more and more of it the more we read and understand it (Ephesians 1:17, Hebrews 4:12). If we’re born again and the Holy Spirit resides in us, we should be glad to spend time in Scripture. If we don’t feel that way, we can pray for God to enable us, and he will do that for us–this being his will for us (Joshua 1:8, Psalm 119:9-11), as we strive to spend more time (Matthew 21:22, Psalm 37:4, 1 John 5:14, Philippians 2:12b).
I often think about how much time I spend reading the Bible versus how much time I spend reading books and articles. It’s difficult to know how to balance it because the books all help to know God better through better understanding of Scripture.
*If I should forget a day for some strange reason, which I’ve done a few times in the past, God is in no way displeased with me and I don’t feel guilty–just a little silly to forget something so important. I don’t read twice as much the next day to make up for it, unless I’m on a reading plan. This doesn’t happen anymore. Just thought I’d point that out so that it doesn’t sound like a legalistic or works oriented thing.
It Was a ‘God Thing’ (Really?) « The Reformed Reader – Michael Horton’s book is on my wish list
Why We Don't Allow Comments – Reformation21 Blog – If you read it, be sure to make it through to the part about retired people. I allow comments on my blog because almost all of them are helpful and edifying, and because of the fact that I hardly get any comments, I don’t really have to spend time moderating.
A smaller list than usual:
Covenant by Michael Horton | Reformed Theology Articles at Ligonier.org – a short and very educational article
3 Tips from C.S. Lewis on Blogging and Tweeting | Nathan W. Bingham – I especially need to pay attention to #2
5 Things Jonathan Edwards Teaches Us about the Christian Life | Crossway – not what you might think
Koinonia: Michael Horton's Pilgrim Theology: 4 Coordinates of Key Doctrines, Part 1 [Infographic]
Koinonia: [Part 2] Infographic – Michael Horton's Pilgrim Theology: 4 Coordinates of Key Doctrines