Here is the monthly roundup of articles and resources from the web for April 2019.
Bible and Theology
25 Christian Books I Love to Recommend. The list of books Pastor John Piper loves to recommend to people. It would be wise for us to heed his advice.
What the Gospel Is. This is a must-read.”Don’t assume the gospel. What is assumed in one generation will be forgotten in the next. If your gospel proclamation does not contain at its heart the announcement of Jesus Christ crucified and raised for sinners, then it is not gospel proclamation. And if it’s not gospel proclamation, then no one will be saved. And there’s no consequence more grave than that.”
The Brave New World of Bible Reading. As Bible readers, we must pause to reflect on the technology we are using to receive God’s Word. This means slowing down and taking time to consider the design of a print Bible, a Bible app, or an audio Bible. Only when we slow down can we begin to ask ourselves good questions about how the medium may be shaping the message of Scripture.
10 Things You Should Know about Reformed Theology. An incredibly helpful introduction to Reformed Theology. If you want to know what’s behind the changes at ECC concerning our renewed focus on Christ, the gospel, Scripture, and the glory of God, this article will help you.
Ethics and Culture
Breaking Evangelicalism’s Silence on IVF. This is a must-read article on an important and highly controversial topic. “[T]he separation of conception from sexual intercourse raises problems on its own, problems that outweigh any justification for using IVF to overcome infertility. To put our worry bluntly, God bound sex and procreation together in creation, and what God has joined together, no evangelical should separate“.
In a second, more detailed post, the author writes “I’m convinced that in forty years, Christians will be more hated for our anti-IVF position than we ever were for opposing gay unions”. I agree.
Why Abortion Matters So Much. It has been more than a biblical generation since the infamous Roe v. Wade case, and abortion continues to be a hot issue. I am most grateful to what might be called the traditional pro-lifers, for keeping this issue alive for all these years. And I am also grateful for a rising tide of impatience among younger pro-lifers. All of this is to the good, provided we remember what the actual issue is, provided we remember what is actually at stake.
Church and Christian Living
10 Habits of Discerning People. So what do discerning people know that the rest of us don’t? What do discerning people do that makes them uniquely capable of navigating a broken, complicated world? At least 10 things
Podcast: Is Singleness Superior to Marriage? (Sam Allberry). In this episode of The Crossway Podcast, Sam Allberry, author of 7 Myths about Singleness, shares from his own experiences as a single person, explains what the Bible really teaches about singleness, and explains the important roles unmarried Christians can (and should) play in the life of the local church.
God Caffeinated His World: Coffee, Tea, and Soda to the Glory of Christ.
The Scriptures do not mention caffeine, but they do give us all we need to observe, learn, and wisely decide how we, as Christians, can faithfully use (or abstain from) caffeine for the glory of Christ — namely, for our pursuit of Christ-exalting joy for ourselves and others. As with other powerful substances, whether naturally occurring in creation or stemming from human cultivation, God made us to search out the prudent, life-giving (rather than life-diminishing) use of his created world.
What Should a Pastor’s Wife Be Like?. “You might be surprised to know that your pastor’s wife is much like you. She is not a celebrity or a super-Christian, but like you, she desires to be a faithful follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. That means her God-given priority is to minister to her husband and the children God has given her.”
Why Don’t We Shout in Worship?“Shouting is commended and commanded in the Bible, like singing, because there are dimensions of joy in God that are only experienced when we express ourselves in this way — particularly when we express ourselves this way together.”
Putting the “Service” Back in Worship Service. Here are four simple ways you can use your Sundays to serve others, as opposed to just being served ourselves.
Christian Life Is Paradoxical. Embrace It. It would seem, at least to me, that God has a kind of preference for paradox—that given the choice between either and or, God would often choose and. Paradox is, of course, the way we can rightly reckon, not just with our nature, but God’s: that he is immanent and transcendent; merciful and just; mysterious and knowable. In the person of Jesus Christ, the great I AM became the great I And, neither moderating his godhood nor his humanity but clothing himself with what seems to be contradiction.
Mitch Bedzyk serves as a teacher and worship leader at Elmira Christian Center. He received his Master of Theological Studies from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and works in IT for the NY Office of Mental Health. He and his wife, Sarah, have two sons, Oliver and Micah, and are foster parents. In his spare time he enjoys reading, coffee, guitar, following the Bundesliga and MLS, and playing fantasy soccer. You can follow him @mitchbedzyk