Tag Archive for 'Christian Blogs'

Around the Web

Some of you may remember the translation discussions we used to have on blogs. Here are a couple of great posts by our friend Esteban:
Mondays with Moisés: Learning Greek and Translating Greek | Bouncing into Graceland

The Book of the People (of God): A Friendly Rejoinder | Bouncing into Graceland

I do not endorse this site, but I do like some of the points in this article.
Christians are far too Easily Distracted from Things that Really Matter

Guest Post: Mental Illness, Prayer, and Extravagant Grace » Amy Simpson

Confused about eschatology (the end times)?
The End of the World As We Know It: An Infographic – Tim Challies

Around the Web

Top athletes share their battles with mental illness | HeadHeartHand Blog

Anxiety Resources | HeadHeartHand Blog

The Suffering of the Saints | Monergism – 100s of free biblical/theological resources on Suffering

Lost in Translation: How Christianese Hides the Gospel | Desiring God

One More Time on ‘Game of Thrones’ | TGC

Books For Which I Am Thankful – Reformation21 Blog – I’ve read a few on this list. It doesn’t seem to me that Knowing God is as well known as it should be known. I recently read it for the third time. The first time was about twenty-five years ago. (When I was 8. Not really.)

Knowing God

Around the Web

Your Deadliest Weapon Against the Devil: Eight Reasons to Memorize Scripture | Desiring God

Why all the Superlatives? – Reformation21 Blog – The post is awesome!!! I may expand on this in another post.

The Upward Call – The Gift of Anxiety

Anxiety has taught me a lot about compassion. It has taught me that mental illness is not as black and white as we think. And it taught me that the church has a long way to go toward understanding it and helping its sufferers through it. There is a lot of misunderstanding about it. When a woman struggles with impatience, pride, or selfishness, we want to help. We know it takes time. But when it’s anxiety, it’s as if we think handing out a verse and reminding her that anxiety is a sin will be an automatic cure. It isn’t.

How to Be a Miserable Comforter | Counseling One Another

8 Ways to Help Depressed Christians – Discover

Many Christians are adopting this method of highlighting in their Bible:
CIA Realizes It's Been Using Black Highlighters All These Years – The Onion

Around the Web

A Creative Way to Unlock More of the Bible – Faith Spilling Over – explains some of the things I like to do that I’ve found helpful–using various translations, looking up a definition of English words, sentence flow (or Phrasing Scripture)–although she does more drawing, which looks interesting.

7 Surprising Facts About the LGBT Community – Millennial Evangelical

3. 4.3% of American adults identify as LGBT.

4. About 33% of Americans believe the LGBT population is higher than 25%.

I post this in part because it seems that much of the media would have us believe that there are much more people in this group than there really are. Not that they should be forgotten or unloved.

Why We Need the Puritans | Monergism – This is an excellent, but long (for a blog post) excerpt from a book by J.I. Packer. If you don’t want to read all of it but are interested in what it says, the first page will suffice. The whole thing is worth it, though.

How do I get the same passion as the Psalmists?

One of the things that is absolutely astounding to me is when I see professing Christians trying to create a division between God and his Word. That is, to attempt to disconnect what he says from who he is. To treat the Bible as a barrier for knowing and loving the Lord.

But this is something I don’t see the writers of Scripture even attempt to do.

8 Months Off Social Media, 8 Observations – RECOVERING WOMANHOOD – I don’t identify with every one of the 8 Observations, but I especially identify with number 5.

Clare De Graaf – Most Christians are Violating the 1st Commandment

Here’s a video introduction to Mark Jones’s new book God Is: A Devotional Guide to the Attributes of God.

Around the Web plus Update

The Prayer God Loves to Answer Most | Desiring God

The Most Sympathetic Man in the World | HeadHeartHand Blog

No Reason to Complain (Brooks) « The Reformed Reader

Responding to Christianese: Since God is Love He would Never Violate our Free Will | Monergism

Personal Update:
Things have been rather difficult lately with medication changes, general life fatigue, and a little over a week ago I had surgery to replace my lumbar pain pump (just routine). I would like to at least get back to blogging as much as I was, but ultimately more than that. I can’t make any commitments on that though. A good thing is that I’ve been reading more and would like to post more quotes, with some reflections. But that leaves me with less time and energy to blog. So we’ll see how it goes. Thanks for reading if you’ve gotten this far.

Around the Web

Should Christians Use Satire? – Amy Mantravadi
i.e. Babylon Bee, one of my favorites

4 Frameworks for Fighting Fear

Do You Exercise for the Wrong Reasons? | Desiring God

No, ‘Saul the Persecutor’ Did Not Become ‘Paul the Apostle’ – A misconception I had too

Speed Reading – Signal v. Noise

and while you’re there, this is relevant for those of us who hate it when people are wrong on the internet:

Give it five minutes – Signal v. Noise

There are two things in this world that take no skill: 1. Spending other people’s money and 2. Dismissing an idea.

I would add:
3. Making false assumptions–something I’m working on.

Around the Web

Words Matter: Recovering Godly Speech in a Culture of Profanity – Reformation21 Blog – Yes! – Even if you disagree, the last four points are the at the center of it.

The Coasting Christian – The Wardrobe Door

Anxiety: My Thorn in My Flesh – A Daughter of the Reformation

Some claim that strong faith is defined by throwing our energies into begging God for a miracle that will take away our suffering and then believing without doubting that he will do it. But faith is not measured by our ability to manipulate God to get what we want, it is measured by our willingness to submit to what he wants. It takes great faith to say to God, “Even if you don’t heal me or the one I love, even if you don’t change my circumstances, even if you don’t restore my relationship, even if you allow me to lose what is most precious to me, I will still love you and obey you and believe that you are good.”

–Nancy Guthrie (Hearing Jesus Speak Into your Sorrow [a good book I read])
from:
When God ordains thorns for me… | A Twisted Crown of Thorns ®

New Books of Interest:
REFLECT: Becoming Yourself by Mirroring the Greatest Person in History by Thaddeus J. Williams

The Uniqueness of the Psalms by W. Robert Godfrey

The Gospel According to Paul: Embracing the Good News at the Heart of Paul's Teachings by John F. MacArthur

Biblical Doctrine: A Systematic Summary of Bible Truth by John MacArthur, Richard Mayhue

Discounted Kindle Books:
Praying Backwards: Transform Your Prayer Life by Beginning in Jesus' Name by Bryan Chapell – $1.99 (I read it twice. This is often on sale if you miss it.)

The Promises of God: Discovering the One Who Keeps His Word by R. C. Sproul – $1.59

Prices as of this writing are subject to change.

Around the Web

A Whole Bible & a Whole Christian – Tim Challies

Today the majority of those who read this site will be heading to church to hear a pastor preach the Word of God. A while back I jotted down several quotes about the Bible and thought I’d share them today.

God’s Wrath, God’s Love, and the Cross (Carson) « The Reformed Reader

Both God’s love and God’s wrath are ratcheted up in the move from the old covenant to the new, from the Old Testament to the New. These themes barrel along through redemptive history, unresolved, until they come to a resounding climax – in the cross.

Do you wish to see God’s love? Look at the cross.

Do you wish to see God’s wrath? Look at the cross.

–D.A. Carson

In Defense of Praying for Aunt Sally's Big Toe – Reformation21 Blog

Prayer: Often, Short, Strong (Luther) « The Reformed Reader – I wholeheartedly agree

How Not to Help a Sufferer

Around the Web

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7 NIV

What Is Self-Discipline? | Steven Lawson – Pelagianism and semi-Pelagianism are explained.

15 Lessons on Bible Interpretation I Learned in 2016 | PEW THEOLOGY

I totally agree with Beth Felker Jones’ Practicing Christian Doctrine. “The discipline of theology is not first about gaining information or building a system of knowledge. It is about discipleship: we learn to speak and think well about God so that we can be more faithful followers of Jesus.” Bible interpretation is not about gathering facts to arm yourself for a debate. It’s about acquiring the right knowledge of Christ. And becoming faithful followers of Jesus Christ.

Wisdom for Reading the Proverbs | The Christward Collective – This might be the best short article I’ve read on interpreting Proverbs.

Quotes about the Bible – I don’t agree with all of these, but it’s a great read and organized well.

To preach the Bible as ‘the handbook for life,’ or as the answer to every question, rather than as the revelation of Christ, is to turn the Bible into an entirely different book. This is how the Pharisees approached Scripture, as we can see clearly from the questions they asked Jesus. For the Pharisees, the Scriptures were a source of trivia for life’s dilemmas.

–Michael Horton

Photo of a Bible

Around the Web – Mental Health Edition Pt. 1

This is part one of two. The next one will deal with anxiety.

Can Depression Be Cured? Latest Research | HeadHeartHand Blog – There is good, but also disturbing news here.

Depression is a neurodegenerative systemic disorder rather than a chemical imbalance.

There is chemical imbalance in depression but the primary cause is a loss of brain tissue in key areas (and abnormal increase of brain tissue in one key area).

A number of areas in the brain are physically changed in this disorder of the stress response.

In melancholic depression (which affects 35% of those with major depression), the stress response is disordered in that when triggered it does not terminate quickly enough or sufficiently enough. It gets stuck in the “on” position.

The last paragraph above (which was actually earlier in the article) makes a lot of sense to be, as I experience this pretty much chronically.j

The parts about damage to the brain and the rest of the body is very disturbing.

I’ve always been reticent to say that ‘depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain’, because that’s mainly a guess. A few years from now, there may be other significant information to add to the equation. Unfortunately, this research is still in the beginning stages. (Maybe it’s past ‘infancy’?)

New Fast-Acting Anti-Depressant Drugs on the Way | HeadHeartHand Blog – What bothers me about this is cost, and efficacy over a long period of time.

New Depression Research: Appreciation, Critique, and Gospel Opportunities | HeadHeartHand Blog – Conclusion to the above

We can know that God created us and knew ahead of time what our how lives and bodies would end up. (Psalm 139:13-16) Believers can look forward to new heavenly bodies. (2 Corinthians 5:1-5)

Consider how the wildflowers grow: They don’t labor or spin thread. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was adorned like one of these!
Luke 12:27 HCSB

Substitute wildflowers with Thanksgiving Cactus:

Thanksgiving Cactus Flower
Photo © Jeff – Click on the photo to see a larger one

I take pictures of these almost every year, but this flower was so perfect, I had to do just one more.

Around the Web – God’s Will, Gluttony and Others

Five phrases Christians should never use again

We have short hand phrases that are sometimes helpful, but often not. In fact, many we treat as downright biblical, when they’re more likely to be found in 2 Hesitations. Here are five that I’d love to see never ever used again:

Maybe, or probably not, I’ll get to my series of things Christians say.

Delicate Tastes – Gluttony
It’s not just over-eating.

I can think of maybe one sermon I’ve heard on the subject of gluttony. [I can think of zero.] Whether for fear of shaming portlier parishioners, or because our pastors have noticed how much closer the pulpit has moved to their own waistlines, it’s not a subject we address much in church. Yet precisely for that reason our thinking on the issue has become so shallow and one-dimensional, leaving the church, especially our affluent, North American congregations, exposed to a much less obvious, and all the more deceptive form of the temptation.

Finding Hope In Suffering – Joni Answers Your Tough Questions

Just in case you missed the amazing insights from Joni Eareckson Tada, we have provided the full video right here. If you’ve dealt with any kind of suffering, this video is full of encouragement and wisdom.

When We Misinterpret God | Parchment and Pen Blog

There have been times, too numerous to count, when I went one way, suspecting the Lord was heading in the same direction, only to find out the heart-breaking reality that God was going a different direction.

In his heart a man plans his course,
but the Lord determines his steps.
Proverbs 16:9

All our steps are ordered by the Lord,
how then can we understand our own ways?
Proverbs 20:24

Related to that:

Taking the Mystery Out of Knowing God's Will – Sermon by John MacArthur – This is one of my favorites by him. It can be a life changer.

If you’re saved, spirit-filled, sanctified, submissive, suffering and thankful – you ready for this? Do whatever you want. Do whatever you want. Marry whoever you want. Go wherever you want. Work wherever you want. Choose whatever you want. You say, “Whoa. Are you sure?” Absolutely. Because if this is true of your life, guess who’s controlling your wants. Do whatever you want.

Around the Web

Imagine If Ebooks Came First

Notes. We would count it ridiculous that any notes, marks, and highlights we make in a book reside exclusively on those pages and that only manual transcription can make them accessible outside of it. In books our highlights and annotations are nothing more than marks. In ebooks they are information that is electronically extracted and stored for us, made ready for use in other media. In this way ebooks help us easily gather important information so we can more simply put it to use.

Searchability of this information is of major significance. I put a lot of these types of things in Evernote while reading paper books, which takes a lot of time.

A Bible Reading Plan for Readers

Just as we can meditate on nibbles, so we can meditate on gobbles.

Why Are So Many Christians Unkind? | Beyond Evangelical – The Blog of Frank Viola

epexegesis: The Chief End of Christian Self-Improvement – An absolutely stunning quote.

Why Lying Is Always Wrong:
The Uniqueness Of Verbal Deceit
by Vern Poythress – This is a long PDF on Poythress’ view that lying is always wrong. He also interacts with others like John Frame and Wayne Grudem who believe there are exceptions. I’m with Poythress on this, but respect those who allow exceptions in certain cases. This is something that isn’t of much interest to many nowadays, but it’s always been a subject of interest for me, ever since hearing the stories while in elementary school of George Washington and the cherry tree (now realizing it might not be true), and Abraham Lincoln. In any case, all of us should strive to be irreproachable [blameless] (1 Peter 2:11-12), even though we ultimately are so in Christ (Colossians 1:22).

Around the Web

You Don’t Have to Know God’s Will | Desiring God

Five Things the Psalms of Lament Teach Us About Emotions | True Woman Blog | Revive Our Hearts

If Death Is Gain, Should We Pray for Healing? | Desiring God

What If “Iron Sharpening Iron” in the Book of Proverbs Is Actually Something to Avoid? | TGC – I would posit another besides ‘tough love’ or it being bad, as the article says, and that would be it’s merely two people sharpening each other’s minds through normal conversations. This is based on commentaries I’ve read. Of course, I could be wrong.

Dictionary of Christianese – List of Words (A–Z) – Exellent

Around the Web

The Christian Struggle with Mental Illness | The Exchange | A Blog by Ed Stetzer

Part of the struggle is discerning the extent of the spiritual issue with mental health. How much is physiological and how much is spiritual ? Is mental illness a punishment for sin or a natural illness?

We all have spiritual struggles: struggling with our identity in Christ, receiving forgiveness, living with joy. With mental illness, the struggle becomes much more complicated.

Is it something that can only be resolved with a deeper understanding of the gospel and closer relationship with Christ and others, or can it be impacted by some external influence—medication, counseling, etc.?

Capitalizing Pronouns Referring to Deity

Meditate on the Word of the Lord Day and Night | Desiring God – This is longer than most blog posts, but it’s very good. It’s based on Psalm 1. One interesting thing it addresses is the word ‘prosper’.

The Word of God informs prayer. This means that the Word tells us what to pray and becomes itself the content of our prayer. When you know the mind of God in his Word, you pray the mind of God in your prayers.

Let’s think about the blessing that comes from delighting in and meditating on the Word day and night.

Man With Jeremiah 29:11 Tattoo Recounts His Time In Babylonian Captivity | The Babylon Bee – I should tell you that this is humor, since some might not get that.

I was very surprised to see a photo of my bookshelf on another article at Babylon Bee. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad.

Around the Web

Here is a post I found in my Drafts that I apparently didn’t put up.

John Calvin's 4 Rules of Prayer by Joel Beeke | Ligonier Ministries Blog

The Christian Reader's Resource Guide | Gospel Relevance

Why We Should Read Books | MOS – Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals

The Bible Is Not an Instruction Manual

“But what will really save the lost world? Let me tell you: none of our complaints against it.”