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John Piper on the Coronavirus and Christ – The Gospel Coalition

The following is an uncorrected transcript generated by a transcription service. Before quoting in print, please check the corresponding audio for accuracy. Collin Hansen: How likely are you to contract the coronavirus, to die of it or at least to know someone who does? Even if you knew those odds, such knowledge would bring little... Read more

You Are What (Animal) You Eat: Making Sense of the Bibles Dietary Laws

I love bacon and ham and the occasional scallop. Sometimes, theres nothing that will substitute for a grilled pork chop. Yet for thousands of years, Gods people were denied these delights. Why? Many Christians immediately look for reasons of hygiene or health. Pigs wallow in muck, and pork breeds the larvae that cause trichinosis. Shrimp... Read more

8 Reasons Youth Ministers Should Attend Seminary

Should those called to work in youth ministry be required to attend seminary? Theres a fight between two combatants that often goes into answering that question: in one corner is $60,000 worth of debt from training and diplomas. In the other stands the 12-year-veteran whos been in the trenches gaining experience in youth ministry, but... Read more

Why (and How) to Preach Christs Descent to the Dead

Death is a Thief and a Robber. Death is a Glutton and a Plague. Death is the Last Enemy and the one that every human being faces. In our own power, that confrontation is entirely futile, and yet were each forced to enter into the fray. Pastors preach funeral sermon after funeral sermon, loved ones... Read more

The Missions Field in Our Backyard: Diaspora Ministry Is Nothing New

As of 2017, more than a quarter of a billion people worldwide lived outside their country of birth. In the United States and abroad, this is big newsthe stuff of political wrangling and late-night talk show monologues. The global movement of peoples is at an all-time high, with the West as a preferred destination. This... Read more

Benjamin Gladd on Teaching Luke

The following is an uncorrected transcript generated by a transcription service. Before quoting in print, please check the corresponding audio for accuracy. Nancy Guthrie: Welcome to “Help Me Teach the Bible.” I’m Nancy Guthrie. “Help Me Teach the Bible” is a production of The Gospel Coalition sponsored by Crossway, a not-for-profit publisher of the ESV... Read more

2 Reasons Jesus Died on the Cross

Why did Jesus die? Historically, from a human perspective, the answer is straightforward enough. The Jewish leaders plotted against him, Judas betrayed him, Herod and Pilate tried him, and the Roman soldiers executed him. A number of individuals and groups were responsible for his death. As Luke puts it, “Wicked men put him to death... Read more

How to Livestream Your Church Service: A Practical Guide

Among the many ramifications about the spread of COVID-19 is a sudden need for churches everywhere to rethink their Sunday services, moving from a physical to an online gathering for a season. But livestreaming a sermon or Sunday service can be a daunting challenge, especially for small-to-medium-sized churches that lack the budget and team to... Read more

Echoes of Holy Saturday in Old Testament Books

Holy Saturday is like the story of Joseph in prison in Genesis: what Jesuss brothers and the Gentile authorities meant for evil, God meant for good. Holy Saturday is like the crossing of the Red Sea in Exodus: Jesus goes before his people through the waters of death, leading them out of bondage and into... Read more

5 Lessons from Spurgeons Ministry in a Cholera Outbreak

As reports of the coronavirus spread around the world, pastors and church leaders are discussing how they should respond to the outbreak. Throughout church history, many pastors have worked through similar challenges. As a young village preacher, Charles Spurgeon admired the Puritan ministers who stayed behind to care for the sick and dying during the... Read more

After Calvary: How the Day of Atonement Highlights Jesuss Heavenly Offering

Theres a difference between tidying and cleaning. Often, Im more concerned with the former; my wife with the latter. Tidying involves putting shoes on racks, clothes into drawers, books on shelves, and toys in bins. Cleaning requires vacuuming, mopping, spraying, wiping, scrubbing, and magic-erasing. To my eyes, at least, tidying makes a more immediate, obvious... Read more

Why Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?

Why did Jesus rise from the dead? According to 1 Peter 1:3, his resurrection brings us at least two life-changing benefits:a living hope and a new life. Let’s consider these twin truthstwin promisesfrom the New Testament’s broader witness. Raised to Provide a Living Hope Death is a terrible thing. Most people face their own death... Read more

Avoiding Disunity amid Difficult (Coronavirus) Decisions

In early February, as we were making our initial coronavirus decisions at our church in China, it didnt take long to discover there would be many opportunities for disunity. By Gods graceand as a testimony to the gracious saints in our churchit seems weve been able to seek mutual understanding and avoid any huge divisions.... Read more

Dont Let Your Bible Reading Plan Die in Leviticus

For many Christians, the five books of the Pentateuch are flyover countryespecially Leviticus. Written at least 3,000 years ago, it feels foreign to the modern reader. Page after page of detailed regulations about blood sacrifice, dietary laws, swift and violent judgments, and longwinded rules about how to cleanse a house from leprosy, make relating difficult.... Read more

Take Heart, Pastor. Your Church Wont Be Empty Sunday.

This coming Lords Day, Im preparing to do something Ive never done before: preach to an entirely empty sanctuary. A stripped-down version of our service will be livestreamed from the church to our congregants as they watch from home or in small groups. Ill be one of hundreds, if not thousands, of ministers and worship... Read more

Colin Smith on Teaching Lamentations to Grieving People

The following is an uncorrected transcript generated by a transcription service. Before quoting in print, please check the corresponding audio for accuracy. Colin Smith: I think of preaching or teaching the Bible as being like a little humpback bridge over a river. You’ve got the world of the Bible, and you’ve got the world of... Read more

How Do You Keep a Small Church Going During COVID-19?

For more than 50 years as a Christian and 40 years as a pastor, my week reaches crescendo with the church gathering. Togethersinging, fellowshiping, praying, hearing of Gods faithfulness, encouraging fellow believers, proclaiming Gods Wordis normal every week. Its an anticipated gift from the Lord. But this time last year, what I love so dearly... Read more

7 Things the Coronavirus Hasnt Changed

Like an earthquake, coronavirus has shaken the ground beneath our feet. Things we assumed we could count on (meals together with friends, graduation ceremonies, the Major League Baseball season) have been canceled or postponed. Were doing some things we could never have imagined (washing the packaging on the groceries we bring home, standing six feet... Read more

4 Steps to Help Small Churches Implement Online Giving

With church attendance impossible in most places due to the COVID-19 pandemic, tithes and contributions may also decrease, and churches must rethink how members can continue the stewardship of giving. Steady giving is doubly important for small churches. Electronic giving is an effective way to maintain steady incomeand implementing it, even for smaller churches, shouldn’t... Read more

Why Funerals Are Better Than Feasts

Of the many upheavels the COVID-19 outbreak has brought to our lives, one has been especially on my mind. This pandemic has simultaneously confronted us with our mortality and also eliminated many of the distractions we normally use to shield ourselves from the truth. It has exposed the fragility of everything we take for granted... Read more

Can Baptism and the Lords Supper Go Online?

Can baptism and the Lords Supper go online? For the next who-knows-how-long, churches in many parts of the world will be unable to gather. So pastors like me are lovingly scrambling for solutions. Theres no playbook for this. When the church cant gather physically, what can we do to encourage and nourish Gods people? Most... Read more

Themelios 45:1 An International Journal from The Gospel Coalition

The new April 2020 issue of Themelioshas 225 pages of editorials, articles, and book reviews. It is freely available in three formats: (1) PDF, (2) web version, and (3) Logos Bible Software. Brian J. Tabb | Editorial: Theological Reflections on the Pandemic. Tabb offers theological, historical, and pastoral reflections on disease and sickness in light... Read more

Practicing the Ordinances in a Pandemic

Churches are scrambling to figure out how to love and care for people well in the face of an unprecedented challenge. While we can learn from some historical examples, technology offers us new opportunities to care for and shepherd people through this crisis. It’s essential for pastors to do what they can to encourage and... Read more

How Chinese Pastors Developed Their Theology for Suffering

Even before COVID-19, leaders in the Chinese house church were working on a theology of suffering. This January, about 2,000 Chinese house church leaders sat in a conference center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, listening to Tim Keller, Don Carson, Chinese Indonesian pastor Stephen Tong, and about a dozen mainland Chinese speakers. The theme of the... Read more

6 Ways to Encourage Online Giving

Churches are facing a new reality, and no one yet knows when it will end or how it will ultimately affect Christians. Two factors have collided: a rapid freefall in the stock market and the inability to gather for in-person worship. We have some familiarity with the first factor. Many pastors remember the effect of... Read more

Whats the Relationship between Inspiration and Translation? A Response to Bill Mounce

I am deeply grateful for the life and ministry of Bill Mounce. His Greek grammar was my introduction to biblical Greek as a sophomore at Wheaton College in 1998, and after using others over the years I still commend his as the best by far. I am also thankful for his work with Crossway and... Read more

How to Help the Homeless in a Quarantine

For James Winans, the message to the public about how to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak is clear, but troubling: Stock up at home, stay at home, work from homeas if everyone has a home. As interim CEO of The Bowery Mission in New York City, Winans knows how unreachablemany of these guidelines are for... Read more

Our Father, Who Art on Sinai: The Ten Commandments Today

Our society seems muddled, bewildered, confused, caught in several turbulent crosscurrents that pull it to and fro. On the one hand, were expressive individualists who nod our heads when someone expresses distaste for rules and regulations; binary systems box us in and bind us, prohibiting us from fully embracing our own personal narrative. On the... Read more

Leaders, Pace Yourself During the Quarantine

I still remember when it caught me. Hurricane Harvey had devastated our city in August, it was now October, and Id been working around the clock for six weeks. Exhaustion just ran me down. I had sprinted into a marathon. Many leaders are doing the same thing right now as a worldwide disruption demands urgent... Read more