I’ve been listening to this excellent 12-part Ligonier Ministries teaching series from Derek Thomas. Ligonier describes the series as follows:
“Why does God permit suffering? It’s a question all of us have asked, and the book of Job points us toward the answer. Job’s questions are our questions, and we can identify with his frustration, disappointment, and confusion in the midst of trials. In this series, Dr. Derek W.H. Thomas walks us through the book of Job and considers what the Bible says about our darkest moments. He addresses the difficult question of the relationship between God’s sovereignty and the existence of evil, sin, and suffering. In the end, as Dr. Thomas shows, it’s in our trials that we learn to trust God and say with Job, “Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
Watch the first message in the series “Job, Satan & God” and find out how to order the audio or video versions of the series.
- John Piper on How Scripture Reveals It’s True—Entirely True. You can watch or listen to this one-hour message from John Piper from the Gospel Coalition podcast.
- God Filled Your Bible with Poems. John Piper writes “We do not live in a day when poetry is in vogue. Perhaps it has never been in vogue. Shaped by smartphones and soundbites, we are impatient with communication that forces us to slow down.”
- The Consolation of Doubt. This is the address Andrew Peterson delivered to the Buechner Institute at King College last year. We’ll run this in honor of Frederick Buechner’s recent 90th birthday.
- What Does “Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread” Mean?C. Sproul writes “This petition of the Lord’s Prayer, then, teaches us to come to God in a spirit of humble dependence, asking Him to provide what we need and to sustain us from day to day.”
- Intimate Spiritual Heroes. Donald Whitney encourages us to find spiritual heroes worthy of remembering, considering, and imitating.
- 45 Free Covenant Seminary Courses. Covenant Seminary offers the lectures from 45 of their courses, many of which I completed, free online.
- John Calvin’s Conversion. Watch this short excerpt from Ian Hamilton’s teaching series Calvinism and the Christian Life, in which he describes what we know of John Calvin’s conversion.
- Some Things That Helped Me In My Struggle With Anxiety. Adam Ford (The Babylon Bee) follows up his excellent article “Some Things You Should Know About Christians Who Struggle With Anxiety” with an article in which he talks about some things that he found helpful in his battle with anxiety and depression.
- The Problem of Pain. Michael Catt writes “Pain can come in a thousand forms. Everyone has pain on some level. A failed marriage. A prodigal child. A failing business. A dying dream. Pain is a common denominator. Because we live in a fallen world and because we are sinners, pain is a reality.”
- 10 Spurgeon Quotes for Wounded Christians. Christian George shares “ten quotes with their contexts, forged on the anvil of (Pastor Charles) Spurgeon’s own affliction.”
- Zero Fear of Bad News. Scotty Smith prays “Oh to have a steadfast heart beating in a circumstance-tested body; a fearless calm when surrounded by difficult people and threatening events; a Good News heart in a bad news world.”
- For Those of Us Who Struggle to be Patient. Scotty Smith prays “Make me a more patient, gentle, kind, accepting man—for your glory and the blessing of a lot of people.”
- Calvinists Should Be Calmest and Kindest. David Mathis writes “Few descriptors are more tragic for a Calvinist than angry and mean.”
- The Lost Virtue of Self-Control. Tim Challies writes “As summer gives way to fall — as summer’s chaos gives way to fall’s schedule — this is the time to renew my commitment to a life of self-control, a life that is disciplined toward godliness. It is time to renew my commitment to their sheer goodness, and their plain value. There is no better time than right now.”
- Spiritual Disciplines and the Sinkhole Syndrome. Donald Whitney writes “As the pressures of life increase and more deadlines loom, it becomes harder to maintain time for the devotional life. And herein is where the erosion begins.”
- How Sinful is Man?C. Sproul writes “Human character is clearly tainted by sin, but the debate is about the extent of that taint.”
- Why Don’t Christians Care That They Sin? Watch this five-minute video excerpt from a Questions and Answers session at the 2010 Ligonier National Conference in which Alistair Begg and R.C. Sproul answered the question, “Why don’t Christians care that they sin?”
- How Can I Soften My Own Heart? In this episode of the podcast “Ask Pastor John”, John Piper addresses the question “Many sins harden our hearts, so what activities will unharden, or soften, our hearts?”
- 4 Ways to Win the Battle Against Busyness. J.D. Greear writes “Busyness isn’t just uncomfortable, it’s dangerous. There are few things as damaging—and potentially soul-destroying, as busyness.”
- 5 Reasons Not to Waste Your Leisure Time. Jeff Robinson shares “five lines of biblical reasoning on a Christian’s involvement in leisure and hobbies.”
- The Gift of Sleep: The Biblical Vision of Rest. Zack Groff writes “In a society geared for productivity, sleep suffers.”
- Humility Isn’t Always Nice. Jon Bloom writes “To be humble people requires much grace.”
- In this “Minute with Maxwell” John Maxwell states that “when we really count our blessings we will be grateful because most of us have been blessed way more than we deserve.”
- How to Face the Death of Someone You Love. Elizabeth Elliot shares six simple things that have helped her through the valley and that helped her later as well.
- What Will You Do When the End Comes? John Piper writes “This is a plea that pastors, evangelists, teachers, parents, and friends warn those they love that, if they do not repent, they will be speechless, helpless, and hopeless when the end comes.”
- Your First Breath in Heaven. Marshall Segal writes “Think about your first breath after death. That moment has everything to do with this one (and every moment between now and then) – that first newborn inhale in heaven. Why will that gasp of air be any better than your last breath before death?”
- How Do I Pray? Watch this two-minute video from Derek Thomas.
- How Do I Pray Without Ceasing? In this episode of the “Ask Pastor John” podcast, John Piper addresses this question from a listener “In your own words and application, what does it mean to ‘pray without ceasing’?”
- The Elements of a Patient Prayer Life. Randy Alcorn shares a short passage from Tim Keller’s excellent book Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God.
IN THE NEWS:
- Why I Don’t Think You Must Vote for the Lesser of Two Evils. I had two classes with Dan Doriani at Covenant Seminary, one of them on Biblical Ethics. He writes “Thoughtful Christians will come to different conclusions on this, but it is clear in Scripture that God’s people often do what is right and leave the results to the Lord of history.”
- What Does the Bible Teach About Transgenderism? Kevin DeYoung writes “The Bible teaches that God made us male or female, and no matter our own feelings or confusion, we should act in accordance with the biological reality of God’s good design. Transgenderism falls short of the glory of God and is not the way to walk in obedience to Christ.”
- Systematic Theology at Covenant Seminary is Biblical and “Missional”. Covenant Seminary President writes to alumni about Covenant’s recent decision to position its systematic theology department in a larger newly named area called “missional” theology.
- Ask Not for Whom the Volcano Erupts; It Erupts for Thee: A Response. Albert Mohler writes “Now, along comes a voice to warn us that the deluge is coming and to argue that we had better prepare ourselves for disaster or save ourselves at last by joining the revolution.”
- On “Stranger Things” and Being a Big Prude. I try to approach what I watch the same way that Tim Challies describes here.
- NFL Stars Read Their Own Superlatives. Check out these NFL stars who recently participated in this bit on The Tonight Show.
- Joel Osteen Apologizes for Using Lord’s Name in Sermon. The Babylon Bee (Your Trusted Source For Christian News Satire) reports “Calling the incident “an unfortunate choice of words” and “a momentary lapse in judgment,” pastor Joel Osteen issued a public apology Monday morning for using the Lord’s name in his Sunday morning sermon.”
- Stop the Revolution. Join the Plodders. Kevin DeYoung writes “What we need are fewer revolutionaries and a few more plodding visionaries. That’s my dream for the church—a multitude of faithful, risk-taking plodders.”
- 5 Minutes in Church History. Stephen Nichols podcast “5 Minutes in Church History” is one that I enjoy. Check it out.
- Reflections On My Conversation With Andy Stanley. In this episode of his Signposts podcast, Russell Moore reflects on his time with Andy Stanley, and how their dialogue about ministry and theology sharpened his own thinking about Scripture and the church.
- What Erwin Lutzer Learned in Four Decades of Ministry. Jeff Robinson I asks Dr. Lutzer, who recently retired as Senior Pastor of Moody Bible Church in Chicago, about his decades of ministry, future plans, and advice for younger pastors.
- Should the Church Treat Homosexuality Like Divorce? Russell Moore writes “We have much to repent for in the accommodation to a divorce culture in our churches. And if we do not articulate an alternative gospel vision of the definition of marriage, we will see the same wreckage we’ve seen on so many churches’ capitulation on the permanence of marriage.”
- Pastoral Visitation a “Sign of Sickness” and a “Step Towards Death”? David Murray critically responds to Thom Rainers’ recent article “Fifteen Reasons Why Your Pastor Should Not Visit Much”.
- Introvert Hires Personal Representative To Engage In Church Small Talk. As an introvert myself, I was interested to read this report from The Babylon Bee (Your Trusted Source For Christian News Satire) “According to local reports, self-described introvert and church member Natalie Ivory has recently hired an outgoing, excitable young woman found on Craigslist to take care of all her church small talk needs.”
- Tolerance isn’t about not having beliefs. It’s about how your beliefs lead you to treat people who disagree with you. Tim Keller
- We can serve Satan and the interests of the world, or we can serve the living God and be servants of Christ. C. Sproul
- What a great day for resting in Jesus’ love, not trying to impress anybody, overlooking as much as possible, repenting quickly and rejoicing. Scotty Smith
- Our security doesn’t depend on our ability to stay saved, but on God’s ability to keep His promise. John MacArthur
- Everything I do is either going to bring reward or regret. Francis Chan
- The gospel is not one of many ways to God, but the only way to Him. Every other path leads further, yet further away from God. Steven Lawson
- God calls us out of darkness and into his marvelous light and then calls us to go back into the darkness and shine. Burk Parsons
- To be caught in secret sin is a horrible thing. Only one thing worse. Not to be caught. John Piper
- My security as a Christian does not reside in the strength of my faith but in the indestructibility of my Savior. Sinclair Ferguson