In Case You Missed It

In this post, J.D. Greear he shares why he is running for President of the Southern Baptist Convention.

It is with this spirit of grateful humility that I am accepting the nomination for presidency of the SBC. When I was approached by several older SBC leaders asking me to consider this role, quite honestly, it took me by surprise. I know that the Holy Spirit often speaks through his Church (Acts 13:2), so we took their counsel seriously. As my wife, our pastors and leadership team, and I prayed, we sensed that God had indeed done things in our hearts and in our midst that may have prepared us for this. We believed we were supposed to at least make ourselves available. If it “seems good to the Holy Spirit and to the people of the SBC,” we are willing (Acts 15:28).

Amy Whitfield recently posted an article explaining what it’s like to be a parent in this new day of Presidential politics. Amy writes:

In 1988, I turned twelve. It was an exciting time to watch democracy in action, and it opened up a new world for me. That was the year George Herbert Walker Bush won the road to the White House and became the 41st President of the United States.

 

A daughter of the Reagan era, I had admired my president for eight years as most children do. But I couldn’t tell you why. I can read the history books now and tell you what was great about Ronald Reagan, but memory doesn’t allow me to actually miss him. I can only remember knowing three things for certain: he loved jellybeans, my grandfather liked him, and his wife wanted me to say no to drugs. At that age, it was really all I needed to know.

 

But by 1988 things were different. For the first time, I was old enough to understand what I was seeing and to select a candidate that I liked. I participated in a mock debate in my class, and I tried to actually comprehend the issues and the process. I learned about the differences between the two major parties. I learned that the primary and general elections are not the same thing. I learned that the Electoral College is not, in fact, an actual college.

 

Sure, there were some issues that popped up, introducing names like Willie Horton to frighten me about prison furloughs. And there were the usual zingers like Lloyd Bentsen declaring of Dan Quayle, “You, sir, are no Jack Kennedy.” But there was a certain decorum to the process that made it easy for a young armchair political strategist to follow. I was enthralled. Six years later I registered to vote on my birthday, declared my college major in Politics and never stopped taking it all in.

 

In 2016, there is again a twelve-year-old in my house. It’s another year to see democracy in action. But as I watch through her eyes, very little looks familiar to me. And our conversations have taken a different shape.

In this post, Jamie Dew explores why it’s so important for Dad’s to spend quality time with their sons.

I suppose I am moderately handy. I’m not the kind of guy that can do any kind of project around the house, but I know how to do a few things. I’m thankful for this “skill” since it tends to save our family a lot of money when I’m able to fix things, build things, or paint things.

 

But even more importantly, I’m thankful the way I learned to do the things that I do. Whether it’s fixing a broken window or knocking out a wall in our kitchen, in each case I’m reminded of my dad. I didn’t learn how to do these things in a vacuum or by watching Youtube videos (though I have watched my share). I learned how to do these things as a boy by going with my father on service calls for properties that he owned.

David Jones shares three things the New Testament teaches us about how to deal with wealth and poverty. Dr. Jones writes:

What did you do yesterday? Perhaps you went to work, made money, paid bills and drove past the homeless person on the way home. Or, maybe you sent in yet another resume, looked at your dwindling bank account and wondered if you can make it another month.

 

So when we talk about wealth and poverty, we’re not talking about theory. We’re talking about life. As a result, it’s critical that we think biblically about these issues.

 

In a recent post, we saw what Jesus taught about wealth and poverty in the Gospels. Today, let’s complete our look at the Bible’s teachings on this matter by looking at the rest of the New Testament.

 

John Bloom recently published an article at Desiring God discussing God’s rehab for the weak, weary faith.

I’m not sure how God feels about our having favorite books of the Bible.

 

It’s not like any of his words are throw-aways. Perhaps such preferences betray certain kinds of immaturity in us, not being able to see more glory in books we consider somewhat boring or confusing. But I must confess, I do have my favorites. And the epistle to the Hebrews is one of them.

 

I love Hebrews for many reasons. I love how it radiates with the transcendent glory of God the Son. I love its magisterial grasp of how the old covenant is fulfilled and surpassed by the new covenant. And I love the beautiful, compelling portrait of the cloud of witnesses, who by their remarkable examples call us to live by faith in the unfailing promises of our faithful God.

 

I also love Hebrews because it is a letter to weary Christians, some of whom are standing right on the cliff’s edge, tempted to “throw away [their] confidence, which has a great reward” (Hebrews 10:35).

 

I’ve been there: weary, disillusioned, full of doubts about the reality of it all, seriously wondering if being a Christian was worth the fight. I too have wondered if it’s all just a house of cards, if life on earth really is just an anomalous, absurd blip of desperate turmoil in a purposeless universe destined to burn out.

 

And gazing at the cliff’s edge, God used this precious book to keep me from tossing over my confidence in him, the Great Reward. I trust he will pardon my partiality for Hebrews.

In Case You Missed It

Jon Bloom posted at Desiring God earlier this week asking the question: Is your world too small?

In recent centuries, our collective knowledge of the cosmos along with everything else has increased astronomically. Now we know that in size comparison, our solar system is to the universe what an atom is to our solar system. One result of this knowledge is that we have a tendency to view everything through what I’ll call a telescopic perspective: We live, as they say at Walt Disney, in “a small, small world”…We live in a small world at high speed. And the problem is that this way of living tends to produce spiritual barrenness rather than richness.

Bruce Ashford published an article at Canon and Culture titled: “The Great Barrier Rieff: Stemming the Tide of Destruction in American Culture and Public Life.” Dr. Ashford writes:

Outside of sociological circles, not many people these days have heard of Philip Rieff. But Rieff stands as one of the twentieth century’s keenest minds, and remains one of the greatest gifts—even if a complicated and challenging gift—to Western society…The progression of his thought over the course of his life sheds light on Rieff’s enduring significance, as well as offering us some vital wisdom for evaluating American culture today.

Dr. David Allen published a helpful article addressing five keys to reaching the “selfie” generation.

We all learned a new word in 2012: “selfie.”

For those of you who may still be in the cultural dark on this one, a “selfie” is a self-portrait photograph typically taken with a hand-held digital camera or camera phone held at arm’s length and then shared on social networking sites. Time magazine considered “selfie” one of the top 10 buzzwords for 2012. By 2013, the word was listed as “word of the year” and had become commonplace enough for inclusion in the online version of the Oxford English Dictionary.

Apparently, selfies make up 30 percent of the photos taken by people ages 18-24. Amazing. …

In one sense, we are all “selfies.” Self-assertion; self-centeredness; self-conceit; self-defensive; self-indulgent; self-pleasing; self-seeking; self-sensitive; and the list goes on. Christians are supposed to be people who have denied self and who have died to self, according to Jesus.

So how do we reach the selfie generation?

Bekah Stoneking reviewed Barnabas Piper’s new book Help my Unbelief at the Southeastern Women’s Life blog.

The last 10 or so months of my life have been a real struggle in many ways. I also hit a place spiritually where I was so deep in a wilderness-like pit that even I, a disciple of more than two decades and with one-and-a-half seminary degrees under my belt, didn’t know how to claw my way out. I’m beyond grateful to my pastor, Josh, who has been a vigilant shepherd, who has interceded on my behalf, and who carried the Light by my feet when I didn’t have the strength to. I am also grateful for writers like Trillia Newbell and Barnabas Piper who have shared their gifts and wisdom with the Church. I reviewed Newbell’s most recent (and super helpful!) book, Fear and Faithhere and after I finished reading it, I began Piper’s book, Help My Unbelief.

Finally, Barnabas Piper posted this article at his personal blog this week: The One Key Component to Good Writing (It’s Not What You Think).

Has there ever been a great writer who wasn’t a great reader? That’s like asking if there has ever been a great baseball player who has never watched baseball. It’s almost a nonsense question.

But, unlike baseball, there are numerous people who seek to compose works without having read deeply and widely. Not everyone watches or plays baseball, but language is common to everyone. We all communicate via the spoken and written word, therefore people feel they can write. And in the most basic sense of writing (group of words makes up a sentence, group of sentences make up a paragraph, top to bottom, left to right) that’s true.

But good writing is a product of good thinking. Good thinking is a product of good reading. Good writing is a product of good craftsmanship. And order to write well OR think well one must read well.