Inspiration sells, but only Jesus transforms--I really like this post from Jared Wilson. He speaks of the necessity of Christ in preaching. In the times I have taught in church, I have deliberately attempted not to avoid discussions of sin and to discuss Christ as the only remedy to that sin.
Suffering and sovereignty-RC Sproul Jr and his family have faced some difficult circumstances over the years. He has a daughter with a significant disability and his wife is now being treated for leukemia. He writes about the comfort found in the knowledge of God's sovereignty in this post. I could not agree more.
Kevin DeYoung asks "why?"--"Why do Christians die? Why do churches die? Why do Christians go
hungry, endure tragedies, get cancer, and face persecution? Why do
pastors fall into great sin and cast shame upon their churches and
disgrace upon the gospel?
"Why do some churches grow loveless and cold? Why do other churches
forsake the truth of Scripture? Why do church members fight among
themselves? Why are there so many hypocrites in the church? Why does
everything seem to go wrong for good believers even as they try to
"Why do churches tolerate clear moral deviancy and obvious theological
error? Why do some churches get bigger and flashier without getting
deeper and wiser? Why do other churches get cold and complacent? Why
do churches neglect evangelism and missions? Why do Christians horde
their resources? Why do churches take their eyes off the cross and give
up on preaching?
"Why is the church sometimes ridiculed by intellectuals, the media,
the government, and the cultural elites? Why are churches still divided
by race and ethnicity? Why are many churches still ignorant of the most
basic truths of the Bible? Why can’t we do church better and be the
church more faithfully? Why is it so hard being a Christian?
"There are at least four good, biblical answers to these questions." Read the rest here.
Celebrating the spirit of winter--In an interesting post entitled "Diversity Office Becomes Scrooge", Tony M writes of the modern, politically correct dogma that disallows holiday (i.e., Holy Day) decorations. In particular, he writes of a diversity office he works with suggesting that decorations celebrate a spirit of winter rather than specific religious traditions. He rightly asks, "isn't that spirit (a) cold, (b) dark, (c) slim food pickings, (d) colds
and other illness, and (e) extra work (cutting fire wood, shoveling
driveway and scraping ice off windshield)? Don't they even realize that the 'spirit of December' that we are used to is completely rooted in religious holy days?"
He doesn't run from our smelliness--Dane Ortlund shares this quote from Jack Miller, "He is life from the dead. When the tomb was opened, the smell of
Lazarus' sin and death came forth. The Lord must have felt like running
away, since He hates evil in all its forms. But He stayed there.
does not run from us in our state of decay and smelliness. I tell you,
when Jesus deals with us He does not pretend that we are lovely and
odorless, but it is in the midst of our smelly death that Jesus draws
near with tears and power and love and called the dead and rotting into
new life. . . .
"I know of no one else who can help the heart in its deepest needs, who can comfort the soul"