Book Review: “Loving the way Jesus loves” by Philip Ryken





I’m doing everything I can to stop a particular phrase that’s going around my part of the world: “we just need to love on those people.” I don’t mind when we try to express a sentiment in a shorthand way, even if it is grammatically horrific. But when it comes to exhorting people to love others, I am convinced that most of us have not a clue what that actually means. I really don’t know how or what it is to “love on” people. (more…)

Evangelizing Mormons

Everyday Ministry, Sola Panel

There is an Evangelist at our church. His name is Ed. I have never really had a concrete position on whether Scripture prescribes an “office” of Evangelist at the local church. The reason I am thinking it through now is that I never encountered such a person at the four previous churches I worked at or attended. So I assumed nothing—positive or negative. Even when I preached through Ephesians 4, I somewhat glossed over the issue in verse 11. (more…)

Back to the Beginning (2)

Life, Sola Panel

Following on from my previous post, I am still thinking of beginnings. This time it is in a different way.

I am in Wheaton, Illinois this week. I’m attending a Charles Simeon Trust workshop for people who teach the Bible. I am here as a participant as well as on behalf of Matthias Media. Vaughan Roberts, rector at St Ebbes in Oxford, is leading the workshop alongside Josh Moody, pastor of College Church. (more…)

Back to the Beginning (1)

Life, Sola Panel

It has been some time since I posted last. I am supposed to be posting a short piece every week. Further, I am to be writing one longer piece every month. I haven’t lived up to either commitment yet. I haven’t come close. (more…)

What is an evangelical?

Review, Sola Panel

“Labels are for boxes and dieters” a friend told me after I asked him his theological
persuasion. Many of my new Christian friends tell me basically the same thing. Most of them are under the age of forty, and none of them want to be labelled. They don’t want to identify themselves as Baptist or Presbyterian or Calvinist or conservative. They just want to be known as Bible-believing Christians. (more…)

Judgment Wins

Thought, Sola Panel

Love and judgment are not opposites. Love and indifference are opposites. Those ideas are well-known but still worthwhile to state. Connecting love with judgment helped me work through some of the theological obstacles I had when I was a younger Christian (i.e. the “how can a loving God judge people” ones). (more…)

What is the Mission of the Church?

Thought, Sola Panel

There have been many predictions about the next evangelical crisis. Perhaps correctly, many have predicted that it will again be on the nature and authority of the Bible. Is the telltale sign of this the fact that the post conservative post-modernists have tried to change the argument from being about the reliability/accuracy of the Bible to the interpretation of the Bible, all in the name of wanting to be an insider of this “evangelical” club? (more…)

The Course of Your Life

Everyday Ministry, Sola Panel

Just in to our office are the advance copies of The Course of Your Life. Tony Payne tells us that it is the “most important thing I’ve ever written.” That is a bold claim. But, having read through the manuscript many times, I agree with him. I am excited to start a disciple-making team with this resource. (more…)

Biblical and Systematic Theology

Thought, Sola Panel

My last three posts are examples of a church-history long debate. One on the merits and primacy of systematic theology verses biblical theology. (Being trained at a liberal seminary, I also recognize it as the way liberals pit bible passages against others) (more…)

The Surprise of Glory

Thought, Sola Panel

My last post started us down the track of trying to figure out what Paul was thinking when he wrote in1 Thessalonians 2:19-20: (more…)

The Surprise of Paul

Thought, Sola Panel

Coming from my last post, we are looking at 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20:

“For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? For you are our glory and joy.”

With this passage alone, Paul would fail miserably in the Reformed Evangelical circles here in the US.  We are rightly taught Sola Christus (in Christ alone) and Sola Gratia (by grace along) and Soli Deo Glori (for the glory of God alone). (more…)

The Surprise of God

Thought, Sola Panel

I can keep my kids busy for quite a while when I tell them that there is a surprise hidden in a certain area of the house. Their determination is unmatched as they search high and low. (more…)

Majority report

Life, Sola Panel

Like Lionel, I take the time to read Carl Trueman. In fact, he’s one of my favourite authors. Perhaps it’s because I speak as an American (and not as an Australian), but I think his book Minority Report: Unpopular Thoughts on Everything from Ancient Christianity to Zen Calvinism could be a pastor’s lone source of zingers and quotes for sermon prep for several years. As I sat down to consider what to write about for this re-introductory issue of the Briefing, I could not help but think of the book, especially the title. Trueman’s allure is not only his willingness to construct and air his sometimes less-than-popular opinions—thoughts in the minority. What makes him so interesting (and helpful) is that he is a witty Englishman (or Welshman? It’s all the same to us insensitive Americans) who lives, works, and ministers here in the United States. What a valuable minority perspective. (more…)