Resource Roundup (October 2019)

Here is the monthly roundup of articles and resources from the web for October 2019, and it’s a big one!

Bible and Theology

4 Ways to Revolutionize Your Bible Reading. How did the church fathers and heroes of the faith have such a grasp and knowledge of the Scriptures without the internet, concordances, Bible software or search engines? “From the patristic age to the Reformation, Christian teachers roamed freely across the canon because they had stored it in the palace of memory.”

7 Reasons Tom Schreiner (Tentatively) Holds to Amillennialism. A very helpful article considering our church is currently working through the book of Revelation and adopts the amillenial view that is discussed here.

Why God Does Everything He Does. This truth — that God is God-centered and therefore does everything that he does in order to glorify himself, by sharing the riches and fullness of his divine life with us — this truth is profoundly good news and deeply stabilizing in an unsteadying world. 

The New Testament Teaches Us Not to Second-Guess Surprising Conversions. The early church in Acts had its share of surprising transformations and celebrity conversions, which stirred a range of reactions. But ultimately, the text points to acceptance over distrust. It also emphasizes the importance of perseverance for these unexpected converts.

Does 1 Peter 3:19 Teach That Jesus Preached in Hell? Peter once of wrote of Paul’s letters: “There are some things in them that are hard to understand” (2 Pet. 3:16). We might say the same of Peter’s letters! Here’s one statement that has long perplexed readers.

Book Review: Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young. While Jesus Calling may contain a few helpful thoughts about the centrality of the gospel, the danger of idolatry and the goal of sanctification, it also has too many erroneous statements to warrant any serious recommendation.

Podcast: Common Misconceptions about the Trinity (Fred Sanders). In this episode, Fred Sanders discusses what it really means to say that God is a Trinity—three persons in one God.

Joy’s Eternal Sunrise: Why Heaven Will Never Be Boring. What is it that makes the prospect of our eternal abode so appealing? What makes heaven so heavenly?

6 Ways to Help Your Kids Love Reading the Bible. With time, care, and attention, we can help our kids cultivate the habit that will keep them close to God, keep them believing the gospel and the promises of God, keep them in step with the Holy Spirit, and keep the flame of the love for Christ burning bright. Here are six ways that might help.

Ethics and Culture

Is the God of the Bible a Genocidal Maniac? In the end, I don’t think we need to get God off the hook. I don’t think he wants off the hook.  As painful as this issue is, it highlights what we, and our culture, need to hear more than ever: God is holy, people are sinful, the world is broken, and his judgment is just.

We Become What We Watch: What Entertainment Does to Our Minds. Whether we are reflecting on a fact at any given moment or not, we are always thinking, and that thinking shapes us in profound ways.

Church and Christian Living

How Tim Keller Seeks to Pray Without Ceasing. Calvin prepared five prayers for these various times of day, meant to be examples for individuals and families to use. This encouraged Keller to use his prayers as a foundation for composing my own. Highly recommended

How Do I Submit to My Unbelieving Husband? The absoluteness of Jesus relativizes, qualifies, the subordination of a child, a wife, a citizen, and a church member.

What If God Doesn’t Care a Whole Lot About How You Educate Your Children? I am coming to believe it’s not nearly as simple as that. I’m coming to believe that, though education is undoubtedly very important, what’s more important is not the decision we make, but the basis on which we make it. 

What It Means to Be a Christian. Christianity is more than dissent to a doctrinal statement. It is more than obedience to a moral code of conduct. It is more than the practice of rituals of worship. Christianity is Christ and Christ is God. To be a Christian is to have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Christianity is faith in Christ, love for Christ, and obedience to Christ. But it is more than that. Christianity is a life of spiritual union with Christ.

Help! My Teen Is Questioning the Faith. Here are a few ways we can build homes that allow our children to wrestle with questions of faith.

How To Discover and Deploy Your Gifts. It is only in this way—as we serve others—that the nature of our gifts will gradually become clear. 

Biblical Theology in Discipleship. Nancy Guthrie hits the nail on the head here, explaining why biblical theology should be woven into the fabric of discipleship in the local church.

Should Anyone Say, ‘I Am of Calvin’? Is the statement “I am a Calvinist” different from the statements in 1 Corinthians 1:12 — “I am of Paul,” “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas” — which Paul scolded as inappropriate? And the answer is that “I am a Calvinist” might be guilty of what they are guilty of. It might be. And that statement might not be guilty of what Paul is scolding.

Book Review: Letters to the Church, by Francis Chan. Like many critics of the church before him, Chan rightly identifies a problem with the church but offers a simplistic solution based on a selective and naive hermeneutic. So by all means, listen to his critique and evaluate your heart and your church’s practices. But let’s think more carefully about how to return the American church to health.

Reformation Day

Podcast: What Do Protestant Evangelicals and Roman Catholics Disagree About? (Michael Reeves). Michael Reeves discusses what the Protestant Reformation was really all about, and whether or not it’s still relevant today. 

Reformation Day and the Waning of the Western Church. We celebrate Reformation Day not only because it marks a recovery of right teaching, but also because it marks an act of Christian repentance at a time when the church had forgotten the simplicity of Christian piety, when she had become so affluent that she thought, wrongly, that she could look after herself, that she no longer needed Jesus.

Wherever one stands on the issue of the church’s independence, the church’s need for interdependence and association with other churches cannot be denied.