As a blogger, I find myself reading lots of other blogs. I do this not mainly to see what other people are writing about, but to gain more for my soul because, as the current scene is, there are so many good blogs to read daily. Over the past few weeks Desiring God posted 4 articles on their blog that are worth your attention. Here are blurbs below of each, with links to take you to each one. Glean much from these, you’ll greatly benefit.
Vintage Worship: by Matt Boswell
I love old hymns. I keep a stack of hymnals on my nightstand, and have an ever-growing collection in my library. I cut my teeth on Charles Wesley and John Rippon. I hope to write academically on the pastoral theology of hymns. I even have a dog named Watts.
While I certainly don’t think that historic hymns are the only thing we should sing in corporate worship, I am concerned that omitting older hymns in our gatherings silences the rich voices of church history. Some churches seem uninterested in any song that is more than two years old, much less two hundred years. Yes, the church will continue to write and sing new songs (Psalm 96:1), but it is also good and helpful for us to sing old songs. (to read the rest click here)
10 Unforgettable Lessons on Fatherhood: by Ray Ortlund
In public, my dad was one of the great pastors of his generation. He served most notably for twenty fruitful years at Lake Avenue Congregational Church in Pasadena, where John and Noel Piper worshiped during their Fuller Seminary days. Dad and John were dear friends.
In private, my dad was the same man. There was only one Ray Ortlund, Sr. — an authentic Christian man. The distance between what I saw in the New Testament and what I saw in my dad was slight. He was the most Christlike man I’ve ever known, the kind of man, the kind of father, I long to be.
In no particular order, here are ten lessons on fatherhood I learned from watching him, each lesson living on in my life from memories of his care for me. (to read the rest click here)
Is Christian Ministry Rehab or Rescue? by John Piper
Some great evangelists and missionaries have viewed their ministry as rescuing people from the sinking ship of the world. The boat is going down and our job is to save as many as we can from going down with it. “The world is passing away, but whoever does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:17).
The problem with this picture is not exactly what some critics think it is.
Some point out that the boat is not going down. The earth is the Lord’s. And the heavens are his, too. He will make all things new (Revelation 21:5). So, they say, the idea that Christian ministry is a rescue operation is ill-conceived. Life on the boat, and the boat itself, are going to be totally refurbished someday. What needs to happen now is to get to work, and make progress on that refurbishing.
There is truth in both these pictures of ministry. It’s true that the ship of the world will never sink and become uninhabitable. The new earth is this old earth renewed. But every person on this ship dies. And when they die they are thrown overboard.
Now, if they have a faith-in-Jesus life jacket when they die and go overboard, Jesus comes along and picks them up in his eternal-life salvation boat. “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord” (Revelation 14:13).
But if they don’t have the faith-in-Jesus life jacket, then they sink and perish. “It is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). So the urgency is not that the boat is sinking, but that all the passengers are dying. (to read the rest click here)
Tattoos for the Soul: by Joe Thorn
For twenty years, I have considered myself a “confessional Christian.” That means I subscribe to a historic confession of faith that I believe beautifully and accurately summarizes the Christian faith. This doesn’t surprise people who know me. I tend to wear my convictions on my sleeve. Literally. The tattoos that cover my chest and arms speak to the faith I hold dear. The tattoo on my hand reads “1689” for the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith.
Because I love God, I love his word. And because I love God and his word, I love theology. And because I love theology, I love confessions of faith. To know God is to believe who he has revealed himself to be in Christ, to rest in his grace, and to obey him in faith. In all of this, we are dependent on the Holy Scripture, and are compelled to affirm and articulate the truths revealed therein. This is where confessions of faith play a vital role in the spiritual health of the Christian and the local church. (to read the rest click here)