Taking God at His Word by Kevin DeYoung – christianaudio.com Free Book April

ChristianAudio.com is offering Kevin DeYoung’s, Taking God at His Word for the April Free Book of the Month.

There isn’t really a “go to” book on Scripture. Sure, there are plenty of theological books on Scripture, and lots of popular-level works on how to read Scripture, and more and more books on the whole story line of Scripture. But there is not one book that people turn to for the basics on the Bible. We need a book that college freshmen will read when they have questions, a book that mentors can use and small groups will employ, a book that a Bible class in high school or college might assign. We need a book on the Good Book that is relevant enough to get a hearing, but timeless enough to be read with profit twenty years from now.

That’s the sort of book popular author, pastor, and blogger Kevin DeYoung has aimed to write. Addressing the issues of our day—questions related to the reliability, authority, and readability of the Bible—DeYoung tackles these head on, but without complex terminology or a long list of footnotes. Taking God at His Word serves as a comprehensive and comprehensible introduction to a classic, orthodox doctrine of Scripture for the average man or woman in the pew, helping Christians across the globe gain confidence that the Bible really is knowable, necessary, and enough.

Quotes from Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter from Birmingham Jail April 16, 1963

I have seen Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” referenced many times through the years, and I’ve seen quotes pulled from it often. I finally decided to read it. I’m glad that I did. I think anyone interested in taking a stand against immoral laws should start with this letter.

Quotes from Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter from Birmingham Jail, 16 April, 1963

We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.

Lamentably, it is an historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily. Individuals may see the moral light and voluntarily give up their unjust posture; but, as Reinhold Niebuhr has reminded us, groups tend to be more immoral than individuals.

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Narcissism in Ministry | Green Baggins

This is an excellent post on narcissism in the pulpit. Very thoughtful. I have considered this problem before, but never as well and carefully as Green Baggins.

I have been doing a little bit of reading on narcissism recently for various reasons, including a realization that I have some characteristics of this mental condition. There are many ways of defining narcissism, but probably the easiest way to define it is to remember the ancient myth from which the condition gets its name: Narcissus fell in love with his own reflection in the pool. Words like “ingrown,” “egotistical,” “selfishness” will readily come to mind in defining this condition. Being wrapped up in oneself might be the best single description we could use. Another definition I have seen goes something like this: the primary characteristic of narcissism is an inappropriate lack of boundaries between the narcissist and the other person, whom he will attempt to use in some way. The narcissist sees the other person as an extension of himself. So, the other person exists to fulfill the narcissist’s needs.

One of the things that has been interesting in the literature so far is that the authors I have read agree that our culture encourages narcissism. It is a respectable sin. We give huge amounts of both criticism and idol-worship to the rich and famous, and both of these things encourage narcissism. The fact of the matter is that pastors get this at both ends as well. We have people who love to encourage us, and we have people who love to criticize us. It is just as easy to get self-complacent with the adulation as it is to get defensive about the criticism. Without the grace of God, pastors will VERY often allow this two-pronged engine to drive us into full pathological narcissism. The ministry is all about the minister at that point. The minister usurps the place of Jesus Christ. He becomes the personal lord and savior of his flock. You know that your minister has a big problem with this if he both flares up at the criticism and practically fawns over those people who praise him. What is interesting about this mental condition is that the situation is usually encouraged, while the word describing the situation is feared.

via Narcissism in Ministry | Green Baggins.

Thoughts on Offerings (in Church)

From Douglas Wilson: A Box in the Back http://dougwils.com/the-church/a-box-in-the-back.html

When it comes to godly fund-raising, there are two basic methods employed in the Bible. When Paul puts the godly squeeze on the saints, it is for the sake of distributing practical relief to others (2 Cor. 9:2-4). Even there, there is a point made of having accountability (2 Cor. 8:18-20), but Paul does lean on the saints to dig deep and give . . . to the poor.

This is worth thinking about….

To Christmas or Not To Christmas…..That Is The Question – Sola Sisters

Imagine my delight, then, as a born again Christian when I came to realize that it WAS true after all: God did become flesh, and He did dwell among us. And He did it out of his great and wondrous love for us, as part of his plan of redemption. Amazing!

To Christmas or Not To Christmas…..That Is The Question http://www.solasisters.com/2014/12/to-christmas-or-not-to-christmasthat-is.html

Archaeology that sounds to good to be true, probably is

Questions To Ask of Sensational Stories in Biblical Archaeology

Every now and again a sensational story related to biblical archaeology hits the headlines. (This week it was this one.) It’s not long before I receive emails asking about the authenticity of the alleged discovery. To help my readers better discern whether they are dealing with a potentially legitimate discovery or not, I suggest that the following questions be asked as you read the report.

  • Does this discovery sound too good to be true? If so, it’s probably bogus.
  • It is reported by a news source you’ve never heard of? If so, it’s probably bogus.
  • Does it cite archaeologists that you’ve never heard before and don’t appear on a Google search? If so, it’s probably bogus.

Blind Faith is NOT Biblical Faith

“Do You Have Blind Faith that Faith is Blind?”.

You might be wondering, “Why does it matter?” The answer is that whether you believe faith is blind or based on evidence, there is no escaping the fact that it is indispensable to Christianity. While there are different ways of understanding the passages mentioned above, it is hard to escape the meaning of Hebrews 11:6: “without faith it is impossible to please God.” So it is vitally important to know what the biblical view of faith is.

I Did Not Enjoy This Sermon – Voddie Baucham

The Privilege of Prayer Voddie Baucham

http://mp3.sa-media.com/filearea/525141455405/525141455405.mp3

I like sermons during which I can nod my head and think, “yeah, that’s me!” I dislike the sermons during which I hold my head in my hands and think, “ugh, that’s me.”