How the Lord Provided for Me in Seminary

A friend asked me this morning how I arranged to pay for my seminary studies. I am grateful for this question because it gave me an opportunity to reflect on the steadfast faithfulness of the Lord. The truth is that I didn’t arrange anything, but God did. I moved to Dallas in August of 1996 …

Indelible Grace Worship Music

Everyone who loves profound theology presented in sublime poetry set to creative new tunes can praise God for the folks at Indelible Grace Music. They are reviving many hymns that lay in the dust of history by setting them to new music (though I would also be an advocate for many of the original tunes!). …

Sex and the Supremacy of Christ

Proverbs 25:11 states that "A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver." John Piper and Justin Taylor have edited a volume that speaks apples of gold in a setting of silver to our culture. In the sin and misery we find ourselves in after the fall, it is all …

Seeking to Pray like Jesus and Paul: Without Ceasing

In addition to the daily pattern of reciting a liturgical prayer at regular intervals on a daily basis (see earlier post), Paul and Jesus would have engaged in "continual prayer." This does not mean that they disengaged from life, hid themselves away in a monastery, and gave every conscious thought to prayer. Rather, continual prayer …

Seeking to Pray like Jesus and Paul: Daily Patterns

It is no surprise that many pastors are unsatisfied with the way they pray. I think some of this dissatisfaction is due to unrealistic (unbiblical?) expectations, and some more of it is due to a desire to be "pressing on" toward more faithfulness (Phil 3:12). When asked if we are satisfied with our prayer lives, …

God-Centered Evangelism

Thom Rainer has recently noted that in 2003 the ratio of church members to baptisms in SBC churches was 43 to 1 (see here). Rainer puts this statistic forward to answer the question, "How many members does it take to reach one person for Christ in a year?" I suspect that the ratio is 43 …

Poetry of Repentance and Revival

Eric Schumacher and I went to church together in Louisville while we were both students at SBTS, and he is one of the foremost theological poets of our day. Eric now pastors in Iowa, and he often writes poems that serve exceedingly well as hymns. He sets the meter so that the poetry fits many …

Reading the Bible as an Act of Worship in Church

Every second of the Christian life is living sacrifice, and all of life is worship (Rom 12:1–2). And yet when the redeemed gather together for the corporate worship of God, our collective energies are focused on seeking a heightened experience of the presence of God and ascribing to him the glory due his name (Ps …

Prayer and the Knowledge of God

“When you think about your practice of prayer and, perhaps, some of the problems you experience, do you mainly consider: what you are like as a praying Christian, or what God is like as our heavenly Father who saves us?” (19). Graeme Goldsworthy, the church’s biblical theologian, has written a beautiful little book that I …

A Call to Reformation: Chapter 2, The Church

Much of evangelicalism seems to have a "take it or leave it" attitude to the Church. For some, regular attendance at a parachurch meeting counts as church membership. Is this a legitimate approach to being the bride of Christ? Acknowledging that believing Christians disagree on the nature of the church, I am convinced that there …

A Call to Reformation: Chapter 1, The Bible

The reformation we need (thanks to Mel Feldsbar for noting that this is needed across evangelicalism) will be one that returns us to the great Solas of THE Reformation (for a brief summary go here). I am posting the first chapter of A Call to Reformation. One of the most insidious dangers in evangelicalism is …

A Call to Reformation: Introduction

I have been trying to think for a while now about what is needed in the average Southern Baptist Church. I am in the process of trying to write A Call to Reformation: A Plea for Christian Teaching in Southern Baptist Churches. I am posting what I have so far in the way of an …

Putting the Bible First

Maybe you’re like me and you often find that at the end of the day you’ve read a lot of stuff but somehow neglected to read the Bible. Here’s a suggestion: Set the homepage of your Internet Explorer to the ESV’s One Year Bible Reading Plan and don’t go anywhere else on the internet until …

Mother’s Day Alphabet Acrostic

God designed marriage as a mini-drama of the relationship between Christ and the church. This is an important reason for those of us who are husbands to love our wives extravagantly. I am glad for this opportunity to publicly proclaim the virtues of my sweet wife in acrostic form (the first 6 and 1/2 lines …

Revived to What?

I often hear people speak of a desire for revival and reformation. What I don’t often hear people speak of is exactly what they want revived or reformed. So what exactly are we looking for? My thoughts on this topic are influenced by Mark Noll’s book, The Rise of Evangelicalism, conversation with my friend Denny …

Blogging for Revival

Why have I joined the corps of bloggers? As Mark Noll traces the roots of the first great awakening in The Rise of Evangelicalism he draws attention to the way that the innovative publication of what was happening around the world stimulated revival in other parts of the world. My hope and prayer is that …