My gratitude goes to SolaSites for sponsoring the blog this week! If your church or ministry needs a new website, they would love to speak to you.
Today’s Kindle deals include some classics and at least one other book.
There are two days remaining in a summer sale from Westminster Books. There are lots of solid deals to be had.
(Yesterday on the blog: A Mid-June Family Update)
I enjoyed John Piper’s reflections here on which characters we can trust in the book of Job.
Derek Thomas goes deep and gets practical in this one. “Assuming, then, that there is no doubt as to the ability and willingness of Christ to save those who believe, how may I be assured that I have this belief? The answer of the New Testament at this point is clear: there is an ‘obedience of faith’ (Rom. 1:5; 16:26). True faith manifests itself in outward, tangible ways. In other words, the New Testament draws a connection between faithfulness and the enjoyment of assurance. True believers demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit, and this fruit is observable and measurable.”
Andrew Walker explains why the recent Supreme Court ruling is just as bad as you think. “As much as I want to share in Gorsuch and Bennett’s patient optimism for a better way forward, I believe the aforementioned assumptions are flawed. Monday’s decision, barring a comprehensive statutory compromise, will be judged by historians as a significant inflection point in the never-ceasing culture wars.”
Some of the best writing is undoubtedly writing that is unpublished. “Sons often believe their dad is the strongest guy in the world, let alone on the block. I am twenty-eight-years-old, and I still think that’s true. So, when I say that my dad is an excellent writer, I know that I am biased, but it’s true. He really is. If he wanted to publish his articles, he would be a well-known pastor of a well-known church. I don’t think I’m exaggerating.”
There is too much harshness, and far too little gentleness, in the world, in the pews, and in the pulpits. “In this short article, I’d like to ask pastors to consider cultivating gentleness in their leadership. Let me give you four reasons why, and then propose a road to get there.”
“When people come to new life in Christ, our first instinct is to teach them to do. To read the Bible, attend church, become part of a small group, give, and so on. And of course, all these things are important. But there is a prior step. If we are to negotiate living for Christ in all the muck of life, if we are to cope with the ups and downs of our emotions, and the whims of circumstance, and the sheer pressure of our human brokenness, then the first step is to make sure that we know who we are as children of God, as those who have been united to the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Ray Ortlund reflects on “intensely felt, openly demonstrated love between manly men of God.”
There is joy in the Bible, but there is grief too. God saw fit to capture many stories that end without a word of explanation. And these, too, matter to him. These, too, are important and are full of meaning and significance.