G. K. Chesterton: What Children Get Right That Adults Miss

By G. K. Chesterton, adapted from Heretics and Orthodoxy

All the towering materialism which dominates the modern mind rests ultimately upon one assumption; a false assumption. It is supposed that if a thing goes on repeating itself it is probably dead; a piece of clockwork.  [Read more…]

One of the Greatest Apologists of Our Time, Norman Geisler, Dead at 86

This morning the great apologist Norman Geisler passed away. It was announced on his ministry page, but I saw the news from my colleague Scott Lindsey, who knew Dr. Geisler personally.

Scott has permitted me to share his reflection here, which reveals a side of Dr. Geisler many weren’t privileged to see. [Read more…]

Free Book: Paul, Apostle of God’s Glory in Christ

It’s free book time again!

July’s free book is Paul, Apostle of God’s Glory in Christ by Thomas R. Schreiner.  [Read more…]

84 Libraries on Sale—Here’s How to Choose the Right One(s)

Your perfect library is in there. Here’s how to find it. [Read more…]

Was $400, Now $100: Flash Sale on Boice Commentary Set

“Of all that I’ve seen, this commentary probably provides the best direct help for preaching on the Psalms. Boice has written a well-crafted, easily understood commentary that provides good historical background and thoughtful suggestions for illustration.”

— Minister’s Packet (April/May 1999), on the Psalms volume [Read more…]

‘Ruach’: The Breath That Moves through Everything

By Myk Habets, adapted from The Progressive Mystery

The Old Testament consistently teaches the distinct, creative agency of the Spirit of God over the cosmos and all that is in it, including humankind. Not only does the Spirit of God [ruach] create all things but he also sustains them (Gen 6:3). [Read more…]

Literalism That’s Unyielding: You Reap What You Sow

The Garden of Eden with the Fall of Man, Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640) and Jen Brueghel the Elder (1568–1625)

I mentioned in an earlier post that I’m exposed to more than my fair share of interpretive incoherence because I’m known on the Internet for my paranormal fiction and for blogging on strange things people believe about the Bible and the ancient world. But that earlier [post] was about how historical circumstances produced challenges to biblical veracity and authority. Unfortunately, sometimes Bible believers have no one but themselves to blame for making the content of Scripture seem utterly absurd. [Read more…]

Pastoral Ministry: Kill Your Academized Christianity

When students ask for recommended books on pastoral ministry before entering seminary, I usually have Paul Tripp’s Dangerous Calling at the top of my list. Tripp points out many of the common heart problems related to pastoral ministry. But this book isn’t just for students. I think every seminary professor should read it too. Tripp writes out of both professorial and pastoral experience.

Strive to be a professor who is concerned about heart application as much as theological information.

[Read more…]

Why I’m Using Logos to Learn Greek—and Loving It

This may come as a surprise to some, but it’s possible to finish a seminary MA and a PhD in theology and not learn Greek, and I am living proof of this.

My programs of study were specialized enough that the need never arose (and it was never required). But now that my schooling is over and I want to continue learning, I decided that the time to learn Greek has come. [Read more…]

From the Heavenly Home of John G. Paton: ‘He Walked with God, Why May Not I?’

Recently I’ve started reading an autobiography that’s long been on my list: John G. Paton: The Autobiography of the Pioneer Missionary to the New Hebrides (Vanautu).

I first learned of it when I asked a Banner of Truth bookseller at a conference, “What’s the best book in your stack?” Without hesitation he pointed me to Paton’s autobiography.

Sometime later I saw a friend post about it online, and just a few months ago I heard a pastor say something like, “If you want an unforgettable image of a nurturing Christian home, read the beginning of ol’ Paton’s autobiography.”

So I bumped it up the list and I’m finally getting to it. And I’m underlining everywhere.

I happened to have it with me when I arrived at work this morning, and was sharing all this with a coworker, who encouraged me to post about it. And seeing as we’re so close to Father’s Day, now’s as fitting a time as ever to share my favorite two passages of the book so far.

Here is Paton describing the layout of their home and the spiritual disciplines that took place there. (Note that this book was published in the late 1800s. The author’s spelling is left intact.)

Our home consisted of a “but” and a “ben” and a “mid room,” or chamber, called the “closet.” The one end was my mother’s domain […]. The other end was my father’s workshop […]. The ‘closet’ was a very small apartment betwixt the other two, having room only for a bed, a little table and a chair, with a diminutive window shedding diminutive light on the scene. This was the Sanctuary of that cottage home.

Thither daily, and oftentimes a day, generally after each meal, we saw our father retire, and ‘shut to the door’; and we children got to understand by a sort of spiritual instinct (for the thing was too sacred to be talked about) that prayers were being poured out there for us, as of old by the High Priest within the veil in the Most Holy Place. We occasionally heard the pathetic echoes of a trembling voice pleading as if for life, and we learned to slip out and in past that door on tiptoe, not to disturb the holy colloquy. The outside world might not know, but we knew, whence came that happy light as of a newborn smile that always was dawning on my father’s face: it was a reflection from the Divine Presence, in the consciousness of which he lived.

Never, in temple or cathedral, on mountain or in glen, can I hope to feel that the Lord God is more near, more visibly walking and talking with men, than under that humble cottage roof of thatch and oaken wattles. Though everything else in religion were by some unthinkable catastrophe to be swept out of memory, or blotted from my understanding, my soul would wander back to those early scenes, and shut itself up once again in that Sanctuary Closet, and, hearing still the echoes of those cries to God, would hurl back all doubt with the victorious appeal, “He walked with God, why may not I?”

And then later…

And so began in his seventeenth year that blessed custom of Family Prayer, morning and evening, which my father practised probably without one single avoidable omission till he lay on his deathbed, seventy-seven years of age; when, even to the last day of his life, a portion of Scripture was read, and his voice was heard softly joining in the Psalm, and his lips breathed morning and evening Prayer—falling in sweet benediction on the heads of all his children, far away many of them over all the earth, but all meeting him there at the Throne of Grace. None of us can remember that any day ever passed unhallowed thus; no hurry for market, no rush to business, no arrival of friends or guests, no trouble or sorrow, no joy or excitement, ever prevent at least our kneeling around the family altar, while the High Priest led our prayers to God, and offered himself and his children there.

Fathers, may God strengthen you for your high calling of raising children in the Lord.