The Gospel Discipline of Listening

Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment. A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion. (Proverbs 18:1-2) This proverbial couplet expresses a simple wisdom principle: surround yourself with wise people and listen to them. Most of us hear that and say, “Good nugget. Ok, I’m gonna try to listen to people today.” But Proverbs is designed to do more than give us fortune cookie sayings that we strive hard to apply. Proverbs is still a part of the story. It is an extended, poetic, reflection on what it means to live within … Continue reading The Gospel Discipline of Listening

Tremble Because God Did That, Not You

Here’s a portion of my sermon, “Work Out Your Own Salvation” from Philippians 2:12-13. Paul doesn’t give us a three-step process for sanctification (there are very few, if any, of those in Scripture). Rather, he describes a heart disposition that characterizes “working out your own salvation.” At the end of verse 12, he says to “work out your salvation with fear and trembling,” meaning, “You do not have what it takes, so be very, very, very aware of that it is all grace.” If you wake up and have the desire to read the Bible, tremble, because God did that, … Continue reading Tremble Because God Did That, Not You

Review and Giveaway: Embracing Obscurity

Anonymous. Embracing Obscurity: Becoming Nothing in Light of God’s Everything. Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing, 2012. Today, a new book comes out titled Embracing Obscurity: Becoming Nothing in Light of God’s Everything. The author? Anonymous. No, that’s not his name. Writing a book on humility and self-forgetfulness, the author wanted to remain nameless. He writes, “I couldn’t think of any way to reconcile that message while simultaneously promoting myself” (back cover). The book is a simple, spirited wake-up call for Christians to embrace what Christianity is all about: exalting Christ and dying to self. In the words of the author, obscurity is all about “being content with … Continue reading Review and Giveaway: Embracing Obscurity

One Thought on the C.J. Mahaney Issue

For those of you who are not aware, some severe charges have been leveled against C.J. Mahaney. These charges can be summed up in one word: pride. Tim Challies has written a helpful reflection on the situation and how Christians should respond.  Ligon Duncan also pens his reflection and he includes some links that will help you catch up on the story. My only thought is personal: I am asking the Lord to keep me from any appearance of pride, specifically a resistance in my heart to correction and rebuke. I have been deeply troubled by these sins in my life because they … Continue reading One Thought on the C.J. Mahaney Issue

Woe to the Idolater

In Luke 6:24-26, Jesus condemns people in general — and the Pharisees in particular — with four specific woes.  Here’s what he says: But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. Woe to you who are full now, for you shall be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep. Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets. Jesus is not condemning being rich, having a healthy plate for dinner, enjoying a good joke, or being commended by friends. … Continue reading Woe to the Idolater