What Are You Reading? 23-03-2018

After a bit of a break, we’re back with some great recommendations!

  • Am I a Christian? “The Bible is clear about two things — that salvation must be through grace and faith in Christ, and that God is always fair and just in all his dealings. What it doesn’t directly tell us is exactly how both of those things can be true together. I don’t think it is insurmountable. Just because I can’t see a way doesn’t prove there cannot be any such way. If we have a God big enough to deserve being called God, then we have a God big enough to reconcile both justice and love…p”
  • The Whole in Our Holiness (Video): This sermon by Ligon Duncan is just brilliant and a must listen
  • The Whole in Our Holiness (Text): This is an adapted transcript of the sermon above. Also very good but seriously listen to that sermon!!! “Often, Christians assume that obedience conditions God’s blessing: “If I obey, God will bless me.” This logic is not in Genesis 1. Obedience does not condition God’s love, but is the sphere in which we enjoy God’s love. Adam and Eve enjoy God by being fruitful, multiplying, and ruling over creation. They experience God’s blessing by being who God created them to be. Adam and Eve were made to find true freedom, fulfillment, and joy as they rightly imaged the Creator
  • A White Evangelical Responds to “Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America”: This is a review of the book “Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America” by sociologists Michael O. Emerson and Christian Smith. Based on this review I’m looking forward to reading this book. I think that Divided by Faith is remarkably well-written and well-organized. “I found it easy to follow, and I appreciated the variety of information—historical, sociological, personal interviews, etc. In other words, I was never bored. I appreciated that this work was neither a puff piece nor a hit piece, instead seeking balance and honesty, focusing on facts over value judgments…”

WHAT ARE YOU READING? 12-03-2018

  • 5 Tips for Engaging with Scripture: 1.Rewrite individual verses and passages 2.Create your own study notes alongside passages of Scripture 3.Journal through or meditate on the meaning of passages 4.Record sermon notes at church 5.Pray through the Bible…
  • What do You Mean by Asking Me to Meditate on Scripture!?: How do you really meditate on a passage of Scripture? Someone has said, “Christian meditation is ‘thinking hard’ about a passage.” Well, how do you actually “think hard” about a passage of Scripture? What follows is a simple method of Scripture meditation for your consideration…
  • Faithful Evangelism: Jesus’ Parables Remind Us That The Gospel Is A Message Of Salvation From The Wrath To Come: Many people regard Jesus’ parables as nice accessible stories that provide a model for our preaching and teaching. I have recently been reading through the gospels and have been reminded that this is a fundamental misunderstanding…
  • Look to the Interests of Others: What does it mean to “look . . . to the interests of others”? Do you do this with people in your life?…
  • Discerning Truth From Falsehood: How do you know is something is true or false? How do you discern whether a teaching is true or false? We are called in various parts of the Bible to stand firm in the gospel and denounce false teaching. But how do we go about doing that?…

 

What Are You Reading? 12-03-2018

  • 5 Things Singles Wish Married Couples Knew: 1. God settles the solitary in a family—and it might be yours 2. Marriage is sanctifying, but so is singleness 3. Our singleness doesn’t define us. You can help us remember that 4. Culture lies to us a lot 5. Don’t expect all your single friends to get married.
  • Why We Don’t Serve in the Church: 1. We believe that our life is our own 2. Our view of being gifted is shaped by the world 3. We think too narrowly about gifts 4. We are not encouraged to discover our gifts.
  • 3 reflections after my first year as a Christian: I recently asked my friend “what are some things you’ve learnt and stuff that’s helped you in your first year as a Christian?” This is what she said…
  • Four ways to God: While nearly all Christians uphold the authority of the Scriptures, in reality there are other authorities that compete with the Bible for supremacy, other sources of truth about God and our world. Most commonly, there are four claimants to religious authority: Bible, Institution, Experience, Reason

What Are You Reading? 26-02-2018

  • 9 Things You Should Know About Billy Graham (1918–2018): Graham has preached the gospel to more people in live audiences than anyone else in history—nearly 215 million people in more than 185 countries and territories.
  • Why do Churches cover up sin?: This is a very thoughtful article on why sometimes churches cover up complaints about individuals in the church. Complaints that are sometimes criminal in nature including sexual abuse etc. I hope that more people in church leadership think through these issues.
  • The Missing Word in Our Modern GospelBut let’s preach the gospel the way Jesus and the apostles did. Theirs was not a message of unconditional affirmation. They showed no interest in helping people find the hidden and beautiful self deep inside. They did not herald the good news that God likes you just the way you are…There’s a word missing from the presentation of our modern gospel. It’s the word repent.
  • The Sinfulness of Cinderella ThinkingSin is not just the bad that you do but the good that you do not do. ‘Not strengthening the hand of the poor and needy’ is considered sin by God just like arrogance and homosexuality.
  • The Black Panther as Afrofuturist Womanist Vision: I confess, I’m a huge comic book fan. I also find any article by Thabiti Anyabwile to be very thought provoking and challenging. His writings on race are simply brilliant. So when I saw that he had written an article on Black Panther, I had to add it. This is quite a deep take on womanhood.

What Are You Reading? 19-02-2018

  • 5 Ways Pastors Can Prepare Their Churches for SufferingPastors, keep preaching expositionally. Pastors, don’t forget to preach the Old Testament. Pastors, make the church a safe place to open up about pain. Pastors, talk about heaven a lot. Pastors, build a culture of care—starting now.
  • I Learned It the Hard Way: Our Best Life Is Later: …the apostle spends ample time encouraging this full-orbed hope in the congregations he loved and prayed for (e.g., Rom. 8; Col. 1:21–27; 1 Thess. 4:17–18). Without hope we live aimlessly (Eph. 2:12), lacking God’s provision for living in this world and the next. Without hope, we give way to sin and despair. But a living hope subdues the flesh, animates desire for Christ, calms the heart, steadies the resolve, and gives strengthen amid weakness and opposition (1 Pet. 1:3–9). Hope reminds us that present circumstances—however difficult—are not the end (Rom. 8:18, 28). Life in Christ is.
  • How Does ‘Willful Sinning’ Threaten My Salvation? Answering the question 1. Do these verses ( Hebrews 10:26–29) teach that we can lose our salvation? 2. What does Hebrews 10:26 mean by referring to “sinning deliberately” or “willingly,” since in one sense all sin is an act of the will and thus deliberate?
  • New Planter Spotlight: Musa Ntinga: Musa is a friend of mine who is heading a church plant in Soweto, South Africa. It is always encouraging to read about people who are committed to faithfully preaching the Gospel. “We named our plant Christ Central Soweto because we want to see Christ at the center of everything we do and to tell Soweto that he is enough, as the saying goes “Christ + nothing = everything ”. As a launch team we are young and so feel specially placed to reach out to young adults and young families of Soweto with this simple moto: KNOW CHRIST – LOVE EACH OTHER – REACH SOWETO.”
  • Don’t Just Preach!Sister, they must not just hear your preaching, they must see your good deeds! Brother, it is not just about quoting scriptures, let them see your good deeds! Pray that God will give you true compassion that cares not only about the soul of people but about their material well-being and practically helps them out.

What Are You Reading? 12-02-2018

  • When Not to Believe an Angel:The truth that underlies Galatians 1:6–10 is that there is only one gospel. Growing up out of this truth are three statements which are very crucial for us to hear and believe, because nothing has happened to change them between Paul’s day and ours…
  • The Rise of a Parallel, Post-Biblical Christianity: I had the pleasure of sitting under the headship of Grant Retief for a few years. He is faithful minister of the gospel and passionate teaching the next generation of Bible teachers. In this article he gives an analysis of Christianity in South Africa. I think a lot of parallels can be made with Ghana. He says this about what churches are beginning to look like: “In short … these churches offer motivational talks, not biblical sermons; proof-texts, not biblical theology; applications of the gospel, not the gospel; moral improvement, not conversion; calls to social justice and giving, not evangelism; status in the community, not accountability-affording membership; flattery, not discipline; lessons in getting busy, not discipleship; professionalism, not leadership. All this produces nice people instead of godly people. They don’t come to read, mark, and learn the Scriptures, they come to learn self-help. They don’t encounter God in his Word, they encounter themselves. The Bible is seldom more than a stage prop, and atmosphere takes the place of a real redeemed community, grappling with the loving and wounding word of God.
  • Avoiding Pride in a World of Selfie Sticks and Social Media Platforms: “God gave us a self, not so that we would have something to exalt in, but something to exalt with. He gave us a self, not to be the object of our joy, but the subject of joy. That is, not to be the focus of happiness in front of the mirror or the selfie, but the furnace of happiness in front of Jesus…”
  • You are the Salt of the Earth: “We affect the world just as salt affects whatever it’s put into. If the world is too tasteless then it is because too many of us have lost our saltiness”