Forgotten providence


We seem to have moved past needing to talk about God’s providence—we’re quite sophisticated these days. By ‘we’, I mean especially our modern, western, secular society, but also the church within it. We no longer tend to think of the sun suspended and directed by God in its course. Rather, we hurtle through a vacuum on a rock, directed by the seemingly inexplicable distortion of the space time continuum created by one lump of energy condensed as matter that then directs its motion towards another. (Or so my astrophysicist friends tell me, anyway.) (more…)

Life in a dark place: Doubt in the Christian life


At the start of 2013, at a conference in Christchurch in New Zealand, I saw something simple but profound: the power of talking about things. There were a number of interviews where people spoke frankly about some difficult issues they had lived with, or were living with, as Christians. (more…)

Ephesians 1:3-6

Bible 101

Over my years in Christian ministry I have fielded more questions on the theme of predestination than any other—from Christians, at least. Does God choose me? Does that mean I’m just a puppet, or a robot, or otherwise uninvolved or irrelevant in the whole process? Isn’t that unfair? And when we look at what the Bible has to say about God’s election, surprise is the most common reaction. We find it’s a reason to praise God, not to be embarrassed by or confused about what he’s said and done. (more…)

1 Samuel 16:7

Bible 101

It is only on rare occasions in the history of Israel that its monarchy was not a debacle. Certainly the initial period was less than ideal: although Saul was physically impressive (he was tall and handsome) and capable as a military leader, he ignored God, disobeyed his commands, and ended up being an unmitigated disaster as the leader of God’s people. (more…)

→ Assurance for tender-hearted souls


Timothy Raymond over at Credo Magazine has a collection of excellent resources for tender-hearted Christians struggling with assurance:

Call it “melancholy”, call it spiritual depression, call it excessively introspective, Bible-believing Christians have always recognized the category of the tenderhearted soul.  This is the true believer who is nonetheless overly anxious, almost obsessive, about his spiritual state.  Everybody around him will quickly identify him as a godly Christian, but for whatever reason, he can’t see it.  Often he lives in constant fear that he is among the self-deceived to whom Jesus will one day say, “Depart from me, I never knew you” (Matt. 7:23).  In the curious providence of God, I have several individuals in my congregation who fit this description.  And on not a few occasions, I have found myself in this category.

Read the full post, and check out the books, articles, and lectures he recommends.

→ What is the Greatest of All Protestant “Heresies”?


Sinclair Ferguson gives a short history lesson on certain views of Protestant theology by the Roman Catholic church, and counters them with some reflections on Hebrews:

How would you answer? What is the greatest of all Protestant heresies? Perhaps justification by faith? Perhaps Scripture alone, or one of the other Reformation watchwords?

Those answers make logical sense. But none of them completes Bellarmine’s sentence. What he wrote was: “The greatest of all Protestant heresies is…”

I won’t spoil it. Go read the post to find out.

Farewell Chappo

Life, Sola Panel

John Chapman, our beloved brother in the Lord, who is one of Australia’s greatest evangelists, and did more than any to raise the standard of Bible preaching in evangelicalism in Sydney, has gone to be with the Lord tonight. So many of us are so glad we have his books still with us. But we will miss him so much.  (more…)

Colossians 3:1-4

Bible 101

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

In 2005, the city council of Rome banned round goldfish bowls on account of them being cruel to the goldfish inhabiting them.1 One report on the reasoning behind this decision was that the curved glass would surely give the fish a distorted view of reality, and may even lead to blindness. The councillor behind the law believes “the civilisation of a city can also be measured by this [kind of treatment of animals]”. (more…)

What is Jesus doing now?


How important is it for us to think about what Jesus is doing now? Is it just something to merely satisfy our curiosity? After all, surely it is more important to concentrate on what Jesus did in the past—his incarnation, his life, his death, his resurrection—or to think about his future return from heaven. Right? (more…)

It’s all connected


I recently asked a group of young Christians to write a brief summary of the Christian gospel in a sentence or two. I called it ‘the crashing airplane’ conversation: you’re on a plane, it’s about to crash, and your neighbour leans over and says, “I saw you reading your Bible earlier… help!” (more…)

Teasing the toothless tiger


The devil is our enemy, but how do we find out about him, and what can he do to us? Peter Bolt takes a walk through what the Bible says about Satan to determine what we need to know and how we are to treat him. (more…)