IN THE NEWS:
- What’s to Love About ‘Fixer Upper’? Lauren Hansen writes “What’s to love about Fixer Upper (the HGTV home renovation series)? Let us count the ways.”
- Donald Trump: Do Character, Morality and Kindness Still Matter? Randy Alcorn writes “I’m asking whether we should support, defend, or be entertained by behavior that’s condemned in Scripture. I’m questioning what leadership qualities we are drawn to. I avoid politics whenever possible. This time it’s not possible. My concern here is that God’s people should consistently value biblical Jesus-honoring principles, character, and behavior in all aspects of life.”
- Tullian Tchividjian Confesses Second Affair Concealed by Two Coral Ridge Elders. As someone who enjoyed his books and sermons and a PCA elder myself, I read this continuing saga with sadness.
- Why Would a Church Support Abortion? Russell Moore writes “The lessons to be learned here are not just one more reminder of what happens when doctrinal orthodoxy and ethical accountability are lost.”
- The Message of Islam vs. the Gospel of Jesus. The authors (D.A. Carson. Graham Cole, Douglas Sweeney and Harold A. Netland) write “Questions about relations between Muslims and Christians continue to receive widespread attention in the media and society at large. In particular, “Do Christians and Muslims worship the same God?” has become especially controversial among Christians in the United States.”
- Three Words We Should Care More About. Steven Garber, author of the excellent book Visions of Vocation, writes “Cult. Cultivate. Culture. And back again. The words play themselves out, affecting and shaping each other, always and everywhere. It cannot not be.”
- What Do Expiation and Propitiation Mean?C. Sproul writes “I’m often asked to explain the difference between propitiation and expiation. The difficulty is that even though these words are in the Bible, we don’t use them as part of our day-to-day vocabulary, so we aren’t sure exactly what they are communicating in Scripture.”
- Christian Highs and Lows. I was introduced to Ian Hamilton’s ministry at the recent 2016 Ligonier National Conference. In this article he writes “My main concern in writing this is to encourage you to do one thing – read the Psalms. Read them daily. Be constantly refreshed, humbled, and reassured by them. Learn the shape of the life of faith, not least to guard you from being beguiled by the temptation to seek shortcuts to holiness.”
CALVARY AND THE RESURRECTION:
- He Is Not Here: The Resurrection of Christ. We have just celebrated Christ’s resurrection. Watch Michael Reeves excellent message on the Resurrection from the recent 2016 Ligonier National Conference. Reeves is also scheduled to be one of the speakers in a very strong lineup (Sproul, Begg, Mohler, Thomas, Ferguson, Horton, etc.) at the 2017 Ligonier National Conference.
- He’s Still Risen. I liked this short video that Kevin DeYoung posted early Easter morning. It’s good for Christians to watch and remember any morning!
- The Resurrection of Jesus Christ and the Reality of the Gospel. Albert Mohler writes “Resurrection Sunday is the central event in the church year–the climax of worship, expectation, and celebration. This celebration is also an acid test of the Church’s faithfulness and conviction.”
- Did God Die on the Cross?C. Sproul writes “We should shrink in horror from the idea that God actually died on the cross. The atonement was made by the human nature of Christ.”
- Freedom from the Performance Treadmill. Paul Tautges writes “We must never lose sight of our helpless condition and desperate need of grace. As we make progress in the Christian life, we must guard against the pride that too often grows from valuing our performance above His grace. True acceptance is based solely on God’s gracious work in Jesus. When we learn to rest in this truth, feelings of acceptance by God will follow.”
- The Root of Mental Health. John Piper writes “The issue is: What is the root of mental health? My answer is, God. Or seeing God as God and enjoying him as God, which involves being forgiven by God and welcomed with utterly free grace. I personally believe that these truths are hijacked when they are used to make self-esteem the root of mental health.”
- Seven Things to Do After You Look at Pornography. Paul Maxwell writes “A lot of Christian advice about porn addicts is unhelpful — meaning, it doesn’t contribute to real progress in repentance, healing, restoration, and recovery. Most of all, it fails to address the issues that underlie porn use.”
- Your Single Most Important Habit. David Mathis writes “One important finding (of recent biological research) has been what researchers and popularizers call “keystone habits” — simple, but catalytic new routines that inspire other fresh patterns of behavior.” He goes on to write “While I cannot commend one keystone habit that will make the difference for every believer, I do want to speak up on behalf of one weekly habit that is utterly essential to any healthy, life-giving, joy-producing Christian walk: corporate worship.”
- The Doctrine of Election Saved Me from Depression. Jimmy Needham writes “If ever there was an enemy of our joy in God, it is the sneaking suspicion that we aren’t secure in his saving grasp of grace. I’ve spent many years and reams of paper trying to trace my depression and anxiety back to their roots, and it led me finally to this: I was unsure whether I was firmly in the grip of God.”
- Gospel Motivated Hospitality. Listen to Rosaria Butterfield, Kathleen Nielson, and Gloria Furman discuss practical ways to winsomely invite people into the family of God by hosting them in your home.
- The Character of the Christian: Respected by Outsiders. Tim Challies continues his series on the character of the Christian.
- Seven Simple Tips to Refresh Your Prayer Life. John Piper offers these tips to a listener on the podcast “Ask Pastor John”.
- Don’t Pray like a Pagan. R. C. Sproul writes “Christians can easily fall into a pattern of praying in a repetitious fashion, without engaging their minds.”
- Exploring the Happiness of Jesus. Randy Alcorn writes “Ask a random group of believers and unbelievers, ‘Who is the happiest human being who ever lived?’ and few would correctly answer: Jesus.”
- Six False Expectations That Diminish Our Happiness. Randy Alcorn shares six false expectations—those that are not grounded in Scripture and undermine our happiness.
- It’s possible to love a theology of grace and hate legalists more than we love Jesus and hate sin. Father, show us the difference. Scotty Smith
- It’s impossible to have met the real Jesus and be indifferent. You either bow down in wonder OR go away offended. Tim Keller
- Abortion is for those inconvenienced by their children. Burk Parsons
- Truth always carries with it confrontation. Truth demands confrontation, loving confrontation nevertheless. Francis Schaeffer
- The Gospel is not good instructions, not a good idea and not good advice. The Gospel is an announcement of what God has done for us in Jesus. Michael Horton
- The victory we are often granted is not the shortening of the trial but the lengthening of our faith. (see Luke 22:32). Mark Dever
- Godly grief will eventually turn our sinful secrets into testimonies of grace. Zack Eswine
- God holds every human being personally accountable to Him. C. Sproul
- Popularity and applause cannot but be exceedingly dangerous, even to a rightly informed mind. George Whitefield