Reading Ruth: Four Themes to Keep in Mind

Ruth is a literary masterpiece. Death. Suspense. Love. Brokenness. Redemption. Often we think it is mainly about a romantic encounter between a strong man-hunk and an unworthy pauper girl. That’s in there, of course, and it certainly adds to the drama. The author knew what he was doing–it draws us in! Ruth is, however, mainly about God and his activity and purpose. Here’s four themes to keep in mind as you read the book. God welcomes non-Israelites into his covenant. From the outset of the book, the author makes clear that Ruth is a Moabite (1:4). She is referred to as “the Moabite” … Continue reading Reading Ruth: Four Themes to Keep in Mind

One Reason John Piper Writes

Piper wrote a blog about his 2010 writing leave. I thought his last reason for why he writes was particularly cool — and down to earth. Finally, there is an inner impulse that I cannot explain that drives me to write. I would write if there were no possibility of publication. I have hundreds of pages that no one has ever seen but me, and it would not matter ultimately if they were destroyed. I wrote them not to be published but because there is an impulse from within. Continue reading One Reason John Piper Writes

What Lizard Needs to Be Killed in Your Life?

C.S. Lewis writes about the necessity to kill sin, and the pain that can come with it, in The Great Divorce: I saw coming toward us a Ghost who carried something on his shoulder. Like all the Ghosts, he was unsubstantial, but they differed from one another as smokes differ. Some had been whitish; this one was dark and oily. What sat on his shoulder was a little red lizard, and it was twitching its tail like a whip and whispering things in his ear. As we caught sight of him he turned his head to the reptile with a … Continue reading What Lizard Needs to Be Killed in Your Life?

Old Testament Names Are Part of Scripture Too

During a team time earlier today with our project here in Johannesburg, we were reading Numbers 13. That’s the story about Joshua going into Canaan with the other men of Israel to find out what the Promise Land is all about. As we read, we came across some difficult Hebrew names. To my surprise, after the reader stumbled over the first name, she skipped the other three and continued on reading the next sentence. She kind of giggled. Everyone else joined in the laugh. After all, the names are hard and it’s embarrassing to butcher the pronunciation. I’m not trying … Continue reading Old Testament Names Are Part of Scripture Too

Seeing the Gospel in Good Books

I’m reading The Heart of Evangelism by Jerram Barrs, founder and Resident Scholar of the Francis Schaeffer Institute at Covenant Theology Seminary.  A few days ago, a quote caught my eye.  The funny thing is that it has nothing to do with evangelism, but about how good books point us to Christ: Great literature deals with the human condition in all its sorrow and in all its joy.  It asks the difficult questions that confront all human beings and sometimes answers those questions accurately.  This is so whether it is a Christian or a non-Christian who is writing the book.  … Continue reading Seeing the Gospel in Good Books

The Path to Hell is Small, Subtle Sins

In The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis writes a series of letters from Screwtape to Wormwood, both of whom are demons working together to keep a man from pursuing Christ.  Screwtape is the mentor, if you will, and Wormwood, his nephew, is his disciple.  In one of Screwtape’s letters, he writes about how their goal is to turn people from pursuing Jesus to pursuing Nothing.  Screwtape writes: Nothing is very strong: strong enough to steal away a man’s best years not in sweet sins but in a dreary flickering of the mind over it knows not what and knows not why, … Continue reading The Path to Hell is Small, Subtle Sins