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    Archived pages: 1135 . Archive date: 2013-11.

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    Descriptive info: When Jesus Haunts Your Halloween.. October 28, 2013.. Unclean spirits stir.. Demonic thrones and dominions gather.. Cosmic powers over this present darkness come to attention.. And the devil himself, ready to devour and destroy, ignites his fiery darts and stretches his legs for the lion’s prowl.. As All Hallows’ Eve draws nigh, the spiritual forces of evil align, and Satan prepares his hordes for the party of the year — the grand harvest festival, celebration of darkness and death, when they pretend to be their strongest.. Halloween is almost here.. But so is their final defeat.. Jesus haunts their Halloween.. One Little Word.. As the demonic rulers and authorities make ready, the one who sits in the heavens laughs (Psalm 2:4).. To him, the devil is no threat, with all his orcs and goblins and the wickedest of witches.. This is no evenly matched bout.. If the incarnate Christ, in his humblest state, commands unclean spirits and they obey him (Mark 1:27) — how much more the risen and glorified Lord? Jesus does the real haunting.. Even as his adversaries marshal their best, they can’t escape serving his purposes.. It is all through him and for him.. “By him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities — all things were created through him and for him” (Colossians 1:16).. No demon lurks apart from his will.. No spirit pounces apart from his plan.. He is sovereign over even the movements of evil minds.. “God has put it into their hearts to carry out his purpose by being of one mind and handing over their royal power to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled” (Revelation 17:17).. Luther nailed it — one little word shall fell them.. He Put Them to Shame.. It is precisely when the devil feigns to be his fiercest that Jesus delivers the deathblow.. It was a Halloween-like gathering of ghouls and goblins at Golgotha when “he disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them” (Colossians 2:15).. Jesus came to conquer fear, to haunt whatever haunts.. “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8).. He stooped to share in our flesh and blood “that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery” (Hebrews 2:14–15).. Every Single One.. Those who are in Christ have no need to fear the night.. This is now our day.. He has won it for us, and will not leave us to fend for ourselves in the devil’s domain.. God “has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son” (Colossians 1:13).. This we  ...   old — whether we’re ushering our kids from house to house or leaving our lights on and giving out the best candy.. Sent into the Harvest.. When Jesus haunts our Halloween, we remember that our enemy is not the scariest-clad Halloween reveler, but “the god of this world” who has blinded their minds and keeps them “from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:4).. We war not against unbelievers but “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2).. We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but the rulers, authorities, cosmic powers over this present darkness, and spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12).. When Jesus haunts our Halloween, we look on the cheekiest carousers with compassion — as “harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36).. On this night, as much as any, “the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few,” and so we “pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest” (Matthew 9:37–38).. And we walk in faith to be those workers.. Freed from Fear.. And when Jesus haunts our Halloween, we fight not only Satan, but fear in our souls.. We see that our Halloween horrors reveal our lack of faith in who Jesus is, what he has accomplished, and that he has commissioned us.. When Jesus haunts our Halloween, we do not flee, but go on the offensive.. “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).. We don’t retreat, but resist — with level heads and open eyes.. “Be soberminded; be watchful.. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.. Resist him, firm in your faith” (1 Peter 5:8–9).. We engage, with care and with courage.. Staring Death in the Face.. When Jesus haunts our Halloween, we remember that the forces of evil, which we can be so prone to fear, are actually terrified of Jesus.. Everyday is a spook for the devil and his demons, and Jesus does the haunting.. The decisive blow has been dealt, and soon we will land the final punch.. Jesus has promised his gospel will advance (Matthew 24:14).. He will build his church, and the gates of hell will not prevail (Matthew 16:18).. And so when Jesus haunts our Halloween, we join the triumphant anthem:.. “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.. (1 Corinthians 15:55–57).. More on Halloween from Desiring God:.. Sent into the Harvest: Halloween on Mission.. Trick or Treat: It’s Martin Luther.. True Holiness Befriends Sinners.. Topic.. The Supremacy of Christ.. Categories:..

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  • Title: What the Church Can Learn from Chick-fil-A - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: /.. What the Church Can Learn from Chick-fil-A.. October 21, 2013.. Subscribe to.. All Blog Posts.. The cows started writing on billboards in the Twin Cities metro earlier this year.. End of Burgerz — Koming Soon.. These bovines can’t spell, but we got the message — especially those of us Minnesotans who are transplants from the South.. Here comes Chick-fil-A, at long last.. Time to.. Eat Mor Chikin.. Christian Roots and Controversy.. It’s no secret the chain was founded by an unapologetic Christian from the Atlanta-area.. Now in his nineties, Truett Cathy has operated his restaurants on overtly Christian principles since the 1940s.. His son, Dan, the franchise president, is known for his support of Christian causes and his opposition to so-called same-sex marriage, which drew national attention last year.. For the Cathy family, it goes deeper than closing on Sundays, playing Christian music, and putting “glorify God” in the corporate purpose statement.. For decades, they have tried to apply the biblical worldview and ethic not just to the surface, but to press it into the culture of the chain, not only in the dining room but behind closed doors.. Learning Bible from Chick-fil-A.. As I made my first visit to a stand-alone Chick-fil-A here in the Twin Cities last week, and then consulted Truett’s book, I noticed five biblical principles, among others, at work in the corporate culture — principles our local churches and leaders might benefit from being reminded of.. Let this much be clear: The church doesn’t need Chick-fil-A.. We don’t need successful Christian businesses, athletes, films, and reality shows for the advance of the gospel.. The tip of the spear is the local church.. But when we can glean a few pointers from another body reading our Book, we might as well take notice.. 1.. Numbers Are Not the Name of the Game.. This may be the key insight for Chick-fil-A over and against other franchises.. From the beginning, Truett has strained to show that it’s not simply about the bottom line.. “Profit is not the name of the game,” he says.. “It is only the scorecard for some of our accomplishments” (.. How Did You Do It, Truett?.. 55).. The effects of this emphasis are pervasive in the company’s culture.. It makes it possible to close all day Sunday, and observe the six-and-one creation principle (Genesis 2:2), when other restaurants make more than 20% of their sales this day.. It encourages the leadership to focus relentlessly on long-term health and stave off the endless temptations to cut corners for short-term growth and “success.. ” It leads to concentration on the quality of the chain, and each individual operator and restaurant, rather than outrunning the supply lines and compromising quality for quantity of stores and sales.. Which means growing more slowly — and taking so long to get to Minnesota! — rather than swelling as quickly as possible.. Truett writes,.. To succeed we knew we had to start small and grow slowly.. This is where so many start-up companies today make their mistake.. Dreamers dream big, and they want to reach their goals quickly.. There’s nothing wrong with big dreams.. But my experience tells me that we’re more likely to reach our dreams if we climb with care and caution, putting one foot in front of the other.. To some, this may be the biggest sacrifice of all — giving up the dream of instant “success.. ” (17–18).. It’s a helpful reminder in the church about something we should have learned long ago.. It’s not a numbers game.. Discipling the nations (Matthew 28:19) is not only about quantity, but mainly quality.. When well-established and constantly called to mind, this principle has a pervasive effect in the local church as well.. 2.. Keep the Bathrooms Clean.. Truett says, “Keeping [the restroom] clean doesn’t require special skill, just discipline that comes from being concerned for the customer” (47).. Put another way,.. Do unto others.. — it’s Jesus’s “Golden Rule” (Matthew 7:12; Luke 6:31), which, “You  ...   senior vice president Perry Ragsdale, is “the biggest key to our success” (56).. Chick-fil-A won’t take on new franchise owners just because they have the money.. More important than funds is character, integrity, and trust.. Which makes finding new operators a lengthy process and slows down the speed of how quickly the chain could expand otherwise.. But it’s worth it in the long run.. Says Truett, “The most important decision we make at Chick-fil-A is selecting restaurant Operators.. Our franchise Operators determine the success of the chain” (64).. But not only does the franchise carefully guard the gate, but once leaders are in, they seek to cultivate among them an openness to dialogue, discuss, and disagree.. When leaders have been carefully chosen on the front end, and there’s intentional effort to grow trust among the team, asking questions and expressing concerns becomes a huge asset, rather than threat, to the organization.. And so with pastors and elders in the local church.. 5.. Keep the Main Thing Central.. The name Chick-fil-A has limited what the chain can do.. There is plenty of room to try new things and add waffle fries, chicken nuggets, or desserts, but with chicken in the name, they won’t offer pork or beef.. And that unbending commitment to what is central has produced big payoffs in the long haul with brand and mission clarity.. The Christian church is a “creature of the gospel” — created and sustained by the gospel, for the defense and advance of the gospel.. The church is “a pillar and buttress of the truth” of the gospel (1 Timothy 3:15).. It is the good news that Jesus saves sinners that is “of first importance” (1 Corinthians 15:3), that is our heart and center, that must be affecting and shaping all we do.. The church is a veritable Gospel-fil-A.. We do more than just preach the gospel.. We must.. But we must do the other things in right relationship with our essential message.. It is so easy to get distracted from the main thing.. It’s so common for wonderful peripheral things to slowly displace the center.. Amidst all the complexities of growth and contextualizing for new locations and demographics, Chick-fil-A has kept chicken central.. How much more must the church labor and strain — with great gladness and deep joy — to keep the gospel of Jesus at the very heart of who we are and all we do.. Recent posts from David Mathis:.. A Reason to Be Really Offended.. Grace Gone Wild.. The X-Factor in Bible Reading.. Topic:.. Spiritual Leadership.. David Mathis (.. @davidcmathis.. ) is executive editor for Desiring God and an elder at Bethlehem Baptist Church in the Twin Cities.. He and his wife, Megan, have twin sons and live in Minneapolis.. David has edited several books, including.. Thinking.. Loving.. Doing.. ,.. Finish the Mission.. , and most recently.. Acting the Miracle: God’s Work and Ours in the Mystery of Sanctification.. Edit.. Best of the Blog.. Questions to Ask When Preparing for Marriage.. 10 Resolutions for Mental Health.. Motherhood Is a Calling (And Where Your Children Rank).. John Piper Interviews Rick Warren on Doctrine.. Letter to an Incomplete, Insecure Teenager.. How to Glorify God at Work.. Beware: The Bible Is About to Threaten Your Smartphone Focus.. What to Do If You Wake Up Feeling Fragile.. Sexual Sin in the Ministry.. The Mega Millions Lottery Is a Suicidal Craze.. Don’t Give Up.. The Story of Ian & Larissa.. We Know They Are Killing Children—All of Us Know.. Ten Big, Daily Reminders.. Single, Satisfied, and Sent: Mission for the Not-Yet Married.. Seven Things to Pray for Your Children.. From Radical Lesbian to Redeemed Christian.. The Truth (About Abortion) Will Set You Free.. When the Not-Yet Married Meet: Dating to Display Jesus.. 14 Free eBooks for You.. A Song for the Suffering (with John Piper).. Drafted: Why Chris Norman Said No to the NFL.. Parents, Require Obedience of Your Children.. Browse by Year.. 2013.. 2012.. 2011.. 2010.. 2009.. 2008.. 2007.. 2006..

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  • Title: A Reason to Be Really Offended - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: October 14, 2013.. Our message is not.. you can do it.. It’s not.. you’re good enough, smart enough, and people like you.. What we preach is that you are a glorious creature gone tragically bad, that you have rebelled against the God who made you, but that he did the most difficult thing imaginable to win you back and lavish you with his eternal goodness.. It is wondrously good news.. But unavoidable is the offense, that insulting supposition, that bad news that sets up the good.. Did you catch it? You’ve gone tragically bad.. You’re a foolhardy rebel against the most powerful person in the universe.. There’s nothing you can do to save yourself, earn God’s favor, or get yourself out of the cosmic pit you’re in — the pit you dug and can’t climb out of.. The offense is that the magnitude of God’s solution — the slaughter of his own Son — shows the magnitude of our wickedness and frailty and utter inability.. Yes, the gospel says you’re more loved than you ever could have dreamed, but as Jack Miller and Tim Keller have noted, at the same time it says you’re more sinful than you ever imagined.. And that’s repugnant to the natural palate.. If you’ve never tasted the cross as offensive, you’ve missed something essential.. Why the Cross Offends.. Talking about the cross as an “offense” comes from Galatians 5:11: “If I, brothers, still preach circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case.. the offense of the cross.. has been removed.. ” Why it is that the cross would be seen as an offense? What’s offensive about the crucifixion?.. The cross declares how dire is our condition apart from Jesus.. It announces how deep the sin goes, how profound the rebellion is, how impossible is our plight apart from Help from the outside.. There’s nothing we can do, no effort we can exert, no law we can follow.. The message of Christ crucified says you’re an absolute failure in relation to what’s most important..  ...   the offense.. “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him” (John 6:44).. You can’t do it.. You’re not good enough or smart enough.. And perhaps most offensive of all:.. You are lifeless.. “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood,.. you have no life in you.. ” (John 6:53).. The offense is not mainly his mention of eating flesh and drinking blood, but the accusation of deep depravity and spiritual inability.. As the crowds retreat at his forthrightness, Jesus asks his disciples, “Do you take offense at this?” (John 6:61).. More unnerving than taking his plainly figurative language in a literal sense is hearing that you are powerless and lifeless where it matters most.. This is as offensive as it gets.. Remember the Right Offense.. Typically we get antsy about speaking the gospel to someone who doesn’t already believe.. Some of our fear, of course, is unwarranted.. But some of it is for good reason.. In communicating the gospel, one of the essential things we must at least imply, if not make explicit, is the most offensive truth possible: you are powerless precisely where it matters most.. You are dead to what truly is life.. Don’t take it too far.. We don’t gloat in giving offense.. We labor to remove every possible barrier.. May the offense not be our personality or carelessness or quirkiness or arrogance.. Like Paul, let’s “endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ” (1 Corinthians 9:12; 2 Corinthians 6:3).. Let’s strain to “become all things to all people, that by all means [we] might save some” (1 Corinthians 9:22).. Let’s do everything in our power to “give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God” (1 Corinthians 10:32).. But this one offense — the offense of the cross — we cannot remove.. We dare not.. More from Sent:.. Let’s Revise the Popular Phrase “In, but Not of”.. Hospitality and the Great Commission.. Evangelism..

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  • Title: It’s Just Complicated — And Very Simple - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: It’s Just Complicated — And Very Simple.. October 7, 2013.. The Christian life can be so complex — and oh so very simple.. That we would use such a fancy word as.. sanctification.. betrays the complexity.. But that defining such a big word could be so easy hints at the simplicity.. Big Word, Modest Meaning.. The word.. is built on the Latin.. sanctus.. , meaning “holy.. ” Sanctification is the theological term we Christians often use for the process of being made holy.. For the Christian, whose standard of perfect human holiness is Jesus, the God-man, sanctification is essentially becoming more like Jesus — being “conformed to the image of his Son,” as Romans 8:29 puts it.. Christian growth, or maturation, is another way to define sanctification.. It’s a big word for the little-by-little progress of the everyday Christian life.. That much is simple.. But what it encompasses is enormous: how every professing Christian should live, where our holiness is heading, how fast the progress should be, and how it happens in real life.. Here’s where it gets complicated and controversial.. When Walking with Jesus Gets Messy.. Sanctification talk gets prickly quickly because it immediately involves so many massive realities in the Christian worldview and their coming together in daily life: grace and works, law and gospel, faith and the Holy Spirit, Christian obedience and pleasing God, love and good deeds, and much more.. And sanctification gets very personal — it’s about the details of your life.. The stakes are high.. Weak spots in our theology will turn up, before long, in our understanding, and pursuit, of sanctification.. It doesn’t take much time before a wacky doctrine elsewhere begins to mess with our doctrine and practice of holiness.. True Christian theology is a seamless garment, and every doctrine eventually relates to every other, but sanctification seems to call the question faster than the others, and has the tendency to accentuate our problem areas.. Beware a False Simplicity.. Because of the inherent complexity of sanctification, involving all these moving pieces, there is a great temptation to oversimplify things.. Because sanctification with all its tentacles feels like an octopus larger than we can comfortably tame, we tend to prefer our own little theological house pets that we can easily train and remain captain of.. It’s nice to have a slogan that can keep it simple for stupid humans and make us feel like we’re in control.. Enticing as it sounds — and convicting as it may be to hear about if you’ve tried it — the well of sanctification reductionisms soon runs  ...   Bible, theology, and Jesus.. The same Jesus who is our righteousness for justification.. is.. the same Jesus who is our holiness for sanctification — and.. the same Jesus we’re united to by faith to receive all God’s priceless graces.. By virtue of our Spirit-powered, by-faith union with Jesus, we have the new-creation spiritual life of regeneration, and the righteousness of justification, and the holiness of sanctification, and the familial affection and privilege of adoption, and the honor of glorification.. This is big.. It gets complicated.. There are so many ducks that it’s hard to get them all in a row — and that’s just the way God would have it.. After all, he is the sanctifier, not we.. He would rather we always lean on him for holiness than supposing we have it figured out.. With a Singular Focus.. But even in all the complexity, there is a point of focus that can help us get our bearings and give us some semblance of simplicity.. The beginning and end of Christian sanctification is none other than Christ himself.. There is an initial relationship with Jesus that first sets us apart as definitively sanctified, and gets the gears going for our ongoing sanctification, but a deepening relationship with Jesus is the heart of sanctification, and knowing Jesus is the great goal of our sanctification.. Jesus is not only the preeminently sanctified one and the one who empowers our sanctification by his Spirit, but also he is the one whom the whole of our sanctification is shaping us to know forever (Ephesians 5:26–27).. Knowing Jesus drives us onward in sanctification now (Philippians 3:8), and knowing Jesus is the eternal life that sanctification fits us for (John 17:3).. This One Great End.. The greatest blessing of salvation is not mere forgiveness.. It’s not just justification and being declared righteous.. It’s not new birth.. It’s not even sanctification.. It’s not just the privilege of being united to him, but being united to him serves the greater goal of enjoying him.. The greatest blessing of redemption is Jesus himself.. All aspects of the Spirit’s subjective application to us, and all of Jesus’s objective accomplishments for us, conspire to this one great end: knowing Jesus, enjoying Jesus, admiring Jesus, and treasuring Jesus for all eternity.. David Mathis writes on “The Search for Sanctification’s Holy Grail” in Desiring God’s newly available.. , which includes contributions from John Piper, Kevin DeYoung, Ed Welch, Jarvis Williams, and Russell Moore.. The book is.. now available.. in softcover, as well as a free PDF, from Crossway Books and Desiring God.. Sanctification Growth..

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  • Title: Desiring God Blog : Posts by David Mathis - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: Desiring God Blog.. : Posts by David Mathis.. This Author.. Smiting the Green-Eyed Monster.. October 5, 2013.. It’s everywhere you turn, yet so easily keeps itself hidden.. It’s pervasive in advertising and steers the course of political debates.. It lives in all our hearts, but seems so petty that we’re unwilling to admit its presence.. But in God’s economy, envy is sinful and dangerous.. It makes frequent cameos in the New Testament lists of nastiness (Mark 7:22; Romans 1:29; 1 Timothy 6:4; Titus 3:3).. We hear that “love does not envy” (1 Corinthians 13:4), that sadly some “preach Christ from envy” (Philippians 1:15), and, worst of all, that “it was out of envy” that they delivered up Jesus to be crucified (Matthew 27:18; Mark 15:10).. And so we’re directed to fight it (Galatians 5:26; 1 Peter 2:1).. ….. Dieting, Botox, and Honoring Jesus with Your Body.. October 2, 2013.. Undistracting attractiveness.. is John Piper’s term for it.. It’s a vision for the Christian to steer a middle course between idolizing our bodies and neglecting them.. It includes giving our bodies enough attention — with sleep, diet, exercise, and upkeep — to avoid being distractingly unattractive, and reining in our impulses to pursue a self-focused attractiveness that distracts.. Deeper Than Dieting, Botox, and Plastic Surgery.. Your body is a precious gift from God.. And the Bible is clear about its highest purpose: To make God look good.. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price.. Fed Up with Life and Ready to Write.. September 28, 2013.. Ink is the great cure for all human ills.. So wrote a young C.. S.. Lewis to a childhood friend.. Lewis was only seventeen years old when he penned such a claim, but he has proved wise beyond his years.. Here’s the full statement from his letter of May 30, 1916:.. Whenever you are fed up with life, start writing: ink is the great cure for all human ills.. Whether we think of ourselves as writers or not — and we are all writers to some extent, even if it’s just email and social media — we should acknowledge that the adolescent Lewis is onto something profound here about the discipline of writing, even if “all human ills” is an overstatement.. Writing.. a help for a great many ailments, both in our….. Lewis Live-Stream Free for All.. September 27, 2013.. UPDATE:.. See available.. audio.. and.. video rebroadcasts.. At long last, we gather this weekend in Minneapolis for the Desiring God 2013 National Conference.. The fullest experience will be on the ground in Minnie, but we’re kicking the doors wide open across the Worldwide Web for all to stream in.. Whosoever wills may come with the free-of-cost conference live-stream.. All the action is available — in English, Spanish, and Russian — at.. desiringGod.. org/live.. Also you can track with us on.. , and.. Instagram.. for updates throughout the weekend.. Note the schedule below  ...   realm of our control.. There is an x-factor when we read the Book.. M.. The Joy of Praising Others.. September 7, 2013.. The key to commending others is knowing Jesus.. Not only is he the source of all that is right and good and beautiful, but as the God-man, he is the perfect human embodiment of our standard for praise.. When we spot in others some commendable attitude or action — something that even faintly echoes one of Jesus’s many excellencies — the Christian thing to do is point it out and praise it.. Essential Ingredient in Healthy Relationships.. When it comes to affirming others, Sam Crabtree literally wrote the book on it.. He is author of.. Practicing Affirmation: God-Centered Praise of Those Who Are Not God.. , and those who know him can testify to how refreshingly he lives out the message in everyday life….. Tapestry: A Vision for Trans-Cultural Church.. August 29, 2013.. Leonce Crump describes the vision as “trans-cultural.. ” Not multi-cultural, but trans-cultural.. Crump pastors Renovation Church in Atlanta and has found the image of a tapestry to be helpful.. The individual pieces are essential, but the whole is more beautiful than the parts.. Says Crump, more important than being African-American is being a child of God.. In.. this five-minute video.. , Crump wonderfully articulates his trans-cultural vision, walking us through the biblical storyline and sharing his church’s experience of unity in diversity.. Three sermons from John Piper on racial harmony:.. The Reformed Faith and Racial Harmony.. God’s Pursuit of Racial Harmony at Infinite Cost.. Racial Dive.. Keeping King’s Dream Alive.. August 28, 2013.. It truly was the dream speech.. Fifty years ago today — on August 28, 1963 — Martin Luther King, Jr.. rose to a podium on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and delivered one of the most important addresses in U.. history.. A quarter of a million civil-rights supporters crowded into Washington D.. C.. to have their voices heard, and King’s voice was the spark plug.. It became a defining moment for the movement.. A Rhetorical Masterpiece.. As his electric speech came to a climax, he departed from his prepared remarks to celebrate his dream.. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.. I say to you today my friends — so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream….. Fresh Advice for the New Semester.. August 26, 2013.. It’s that time of year.. School is back in session, new relationships are burgeoning, and fresh patterns of life are forming.. Back to school is a major season of transition in Western society and beyond.. To help you navigate these days, and make the most of the new semester, we went behind the blog for a deeper dive on two recent posts:.. Marshall Segal’s “.. Five Back-to-School Basics.. ”.. Tony Reinke’s “.. Why We Really Sleep In.. We also brought in a real-live, college-ministry professional to keep us on course.. Matt Reagan is an elder at Bethlehem, director for Campus Outreach….. Newest.. Newer.. 2.. 6.. Older.. Oldest..

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  • Title: Desiring God Blog : Posts by David Mathis - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: Why We Won’t Back Down.. August 21, 2013.. What if Tom Petty wrote an anthem for 21st-century evangelicals?.. In the increasingly post-Christian worlds of Europe and North America, society relentlessly pressures biblically faithful Christians to back down.. Back down on your stance against abortion.. Back down on your refusal to condone homosexual practice and so-called “gay marriage.. ” Back down on claiming your Bible is inerrant.. Back down on male leadership in the church and the home.. Back down on the exclusive sufficiency of Jesus’s person and work for salvation, and your claim that there is only one name given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12).. “I Won’t Back Down”.. It was the first hit from Petty’s first solo album in….. Giving the Gospel Graciously.. August 10, 2013.. I’m terribly sorry I just evangelized all over you.. That’s how we can feel after spewing a full stomach of precious information on an unsuspecting stranger or friend.. It can seem like sharing our faith requires shoveling coal into the engine, getting the big gears going, and building up a serious head of steam to push us over the hump.. No wonder evangelism is a sensitive subject.. Sex and Evangelism.. Mack Stiles.. is happy to try coming to the rescue — not that he’s any kind of superman at sharing his faith.. He’s plenty ordinary, without any special “gift of evangelism,” but he’s learned over the years how to communicate the world’s most important truths in regular dialogue, with a listening ….. Twelve Gospel Passages to Soak In.. August 7, 2013.. Mere truth won’t do it.. Our souls desperately need the gospel.. “The grace of God in truth” (Colossians 1:6) is the shock that brings a dead soul to life, and the charge that keeps it living.. The gospel is the gas that awakens and energizes the human heart, not mere truth — essential as truth is.. Two plus two equals four — that’s true.. It just doesn’t do much to jumpstart and drive a languishing soul.. It’s all wonderful and good to learn various truths from the Bible — and there are many crucial truths to learn — but we must not miss or minimize the one truth of the gospel, “the word of the truth” (Ephesians 1:13; Colossians 1:5), the message so central and significant that the apostle call….. No Christian Suffering Is Meaningless.. July 29, 2013.. Everyone in the world wants this.. Every person on the planet aches for real hope — to find the secret of real strength and joy and significance.. Put another way, no one longs to lose heart.. No one desires to be discouraged.. No one wants the breath knocked out of their hope.. And the apostle Paul claims to have found the key.. In this new exposition of 2 Corinthians 4:16–18, delivered Friday at the Legacy Conference in Chicago, John Piper digs beneath the apostle’s amazing claim, “We do not lose heart.. ” He shows what world-altering hope is offered to the Christian in looking to the unseen and eternal, and finding that none of  ...   to God’s pursuit of his own glory, the stunning ways in which God makes much of us, and the signal joy of being drawn ….. Introducing the C.. Lewis “Small Talks”.. July 18, 2013.. We want this conference to be the next best thing to visiting Narnia for yourself.. The Desiring God 2013 National Conference, September 27–29 in Minneapolis, is taking up the theme “The Romantic Rationalist: God, Life, and Imagination in the Work of C.. Lewis.. ” Plenary speakers are John Piper, Douglas Wilson, Phil Ryken, Kevin Vanhoozer, and Randy Alcorn.. And now, in addition to four Friday afternoon seminars, we’re introducing a dozen 10-minute mini-talks inspired by Lewis’s life and work.. We’re calling these “small talks,” well, because they’re small compared to the 60-minute plenaries and 45-minute seminars.. We’re asking our small-talkers to sound off for just 10 minutes or less, and w….. Ten Gospel Verses to Keep Warm.. July 17, 2013.. Bible memorization is always time well spent.. Whether you’re tackling.. extended sections.. , or.. “fighter verses” for specific sins.. passages particularly helpful in pastoral ministry.. , surely all Scripture memory is “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).. And especially useful are one-verse statements of the gospel.. When you memorize a “gospel verse,” and keep it warm, you have hidden in your heart a divinely inspired and inerrant expression, in human language, of the very point of the whole Bible and all of history.. You carry with you the sword of the Spirit in its strongest alloy.. One-sentence encapsulations of the Bible’s….. Keller and Piper Talk C.. July 16, 2013.. C.. Lewis claimed he was no theologian.. At least that wasn’t his day job.. But it didn’t stop him from seriously shaping some of today’s most influential theologians.. Lewis was a world-class scholar of English literature, and a Christian layman and apologist, and one of the main formative heroes for both Tim Keller and John Piper.. In this new 10-minute video, Piper interviews Keller about Lewis’s ongoing impact on him and Lewis’s model of cultural engagement which has marked Keller and continues to be relevant in the twenty-first century.. A special.. early-bird rate.. for the Desiring God 2013 National Conference on C.. Lewis is available if you register by July 26.. More on C.. Lew….. Capturing the Heart of a Child.. July 15, 2013.. What was so wonderful about C.. Lewis, says.. Sally Lloyd-Jones.. , author of.. The Jesus Storybook Bible.. , is that such an incredible mind wrote children’s stories.. She continues,.. He didn’t think children’s stories were beneath him.. In fact, a mind like that is what it took to write those children’s stories.. And of course, as Lewis said, a children’s story that’s only good for children isn’t a good children’s story in the least.. He dignified children, and he knew the power of story.. The story is how you capture the child’s heart.. In this short clip, she celebrates Lewis’s brilliance as a children’s writer.. In this second clip, Sally Lloyd-Jones talks about learning narration and t….. 3.. 7..

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  • Title: Desiring God Blog : Posts by David Mathis - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: Lewis: Christian, Writer, Scholar, Prophet.. July 13, 2013.. It’s hard to be a casual fan of C.. Many despise him for his Christianity and convictions.. Many love him dearly for his brilliant mind and writing and prophetic insight.. If you’ve read enough Lewis to track with his vision and life’s project, you’ll either love him or hate him.. Let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about being only a casual fan.. He has not left that open to us.. He did not intend to.. With the.. Desiring God 2013 National Conference.. just around the corner — and the July 26.. early-bird deadline for registration.. approaching even faster — we sat down for a quick conservation about Lewis with Bethlehem College Seminary professor, and unapologetic Lewis-lover, Joe ….. Ten Passages for Pastors to Memorize Cold.. July 10, 2013.. Here’s one way to cool down during a sizzling hot July: ice-cold memorization.. Grab an iced tea, find some air-conditioned space, and put these ten passages to memory.. You’ll never regret any extended time given to memorizing God’s word — especially when it’s the passages that come up again and again as particularly useful in the Christian life and in ministering to others.. These are ten that will prove especially useful for pastors and Christian leaders, but we think this is a good list for all Christians as well.. See which ones you already know.. Put a little polish on those, and perhaps tackle a new passage or few you don’t yet have to memory.. Psalm 23:1–6.. It’s one of the Bible’s best-….. Simple Church Planting.. July 6, 2013.. It’s low-bar.. It’s no frills.. It’s a very simple model of planting, and challenges many of the prevailing notions about starting a new church.. You’d never have guessed that an academic dean and professor of Hebrew from a major seminary was behind it.. Miles Van Pelt has been in Jackson, Mississippi, for a decade.. He teaches full-time at Reformed Theological Seminary.. Over time, he and his family saw a need around them — people they knew who seemed interested in Jesus but were misfits with the local churches around them.. From this need, a call emerged.. While Miles still teaches full-time, he and his family now help in leading a church-planting team in a very simple start-up model.. The model….. Born Again on the Fourth of July.. July 4, 2013.. For those of us in the States, the time is here again for our midsummer’s patriotic respite.. For many, the Fourth of July means parades and picnics, hot dogs and Coca-Cola, ice cream and apple pie, baseball and bombs bursting in air.. In God’s good providence, the adoption of Jefferson’s Declaration in 1776 happened during one of the best weather weeks of the year in this hemisphere.. And so for 237 years now, the significance and seasonal timing of the day have conspired to make it a deeply rooted annual occasion in the American psyche.. While the Fourth’s flood of Americana is all-too-enticing for many, it can rub many others the wrong way.. But before thumbing our noses or diving in deep, i….. Not by Sight: Marking  ...   2013.. It’s often very handy to have a professor as a friend.. “The Professor,” Digory Kirke, proved to be a well-travelled and advantageous ally for the children in C.. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, and our own professor-friend Joe Rigney is a well-travelled guide to show us (and our children) through the wardrobe and into Lewis’s fantasy world.. Joe teaches Christian worldview at Bethlehem College Seminary.. We both have a pair of young sons we’re eager to soon introduce to Narnia.. Before diving in, I thought it would be good to glean what I could from Joe, and hit record for your sake.. In this new episode of Theology Refresh, Joe gives all Lewis readers — but especially parents of young c….. In and Out, In a Blaise of Glory.. June 19, 2013.. Few have written with such passion and economy of expression.. Rarely does one turn such manifest angst to articulation and channel such blood-earnestness into precise words.. Blaise Pascal burned with the kind of intensity and aggression uncharacteristic of those who have long, peaceful lives.. He was a fierce flame with a short wick.. It was June 19, 1623 — 390 years ago now — that Pascal was born in Clermont, France, to a mother who would die when he was only a toddler.. He himself would live a sickly and painful life and wouldn’t even see his fortieth birthday — though he left an indelible impression.. While the world had him for less than four decades, the church only had him for eight year….. What Makes Dad Special.. June 16, 2013.. All around the world, dads are special today.. Father’s Day is the third Sunday of June in the United States and more than 80 nations.. It is fitting that we not only annually honor moms on Mother’s Day, but our fathers as well.. God’s good design is for both moms and dads, and for their appreciation and honor, whether old covenant (Exodus 20:12) or new (Ephesians 6:2).. It takes man and woman, father and mother, to image God to a child.. “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27).. Beyond Precise Description.. Having just one or the other isn’t God’s ideal, though we greatly revere those who give such valiant effort to l….. New Piper eBook for Father’s Day.. June 12, 2013.. Father’s Day is this weekend, and John Piper and the team at Desiring God would like to help you get ready and make the most of it.. This new ebook from John Piper,.. A Tribute to My Father.. , brings together in one place his most significant writings that honor the indelible influence of his father, Bill Piper (1919–2007).. Included here are the eleven “precious truths” John shared for Father’s Day 2005, as well as his journal entry from the night his father died, the funeral message from just days later, and the extended biographical address tracking his life and ministry as an evangelist and father.. For Father’s Day 2013.. John writes in the new introduction written specially for the ebook,.. M….. 4.. 8..

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  • Title: Desiring God Blog : Posts by David Mathis - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: Loving Muslims, While Rejecting Islam.. June 8, 2013.. Only one major world religion has a built-in apologetic against Christianity: Islam.. “While I profoundly disagree with Islam,” says Zane Pratt, dean of missions at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, “I love Muslims.. ”.. For 20 years, Pratt lived and ministered the Christian gospel among Muslims in Central Asia.. He knows the religion well and is one of the foremost evangelical teachers on Islam.. And perhaps the first thing he’d say to Christians about Muslims is, “Don’t be afraid.. “We Fundamentally Disagree on Essentially Everything”.. In our post-9/11 milieu, Pratt finds himself not only combating fear but many popular misconceptions about Islam — one being that Arab and Muslim are the s….. Entertaining Pulpits and the Legacy of “Tethered Preaching”.. May 31, 2013.. Initially, it may be tough to tell the difference.. A gifted Bible-expositor and an entertainment-oriented preacher, with a penchant for garnishing his ideas with some Bible, may not demonstrate much disparity at first.. But give it some time.. And check the congregation over the long haul.. It will make a world of difference.. Tethered to the Bible.. John Piper coins a term in his short article “.. In Honor of Tethered Preaching: John Calvin and the Entertaining Pastor.. ” “Tethered preaching,” he says, is cut from a different cloth altogether.. It is Bible-oriented, rather than entertainment-oriented, even as it often proves captivating to the born-again palette.. The Bible tethers us to reality.. We….. If You Don’t Know Jack.. May 29, 2013.. Perhaps you’re a verifiable lover of C.. Lewis and his mere Christianity, his Narnia chronicles, his brilliant and diabolical missives from hell itself, and his unmatched blend of uncompromised heart and head.. Or maybe you’d consider him a casual acquaintance — you’ve read a few things here and there and often sensed his presence through his influence on others.. Or perhaps you’d admit you don’t know Jack at all.. Whatever your orientation on Lewis heretofore, we invite you to join us and get to know “Jack” and his writing better this September 26–28 at the Desiring God 2013 National Conference.. Early-Bird Rate Until July 26.. Under the banner of “The Romantic Rationalist: God, Life, and I….. The Unmarked Tomb of a Well-Known Soldier.. May 27, 2013.. Today many of us in the United States will visit cemeteries and find other ways to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the Armed Forces.. Memorial Day, observed annually on the last Monday of May, began in the nineteenth century as Decoration Day in memory of those who died in the American Civil War.. It soon included all who died in military service — especially following World War II — and the name was officially changed to Memorial Day in 1967.. Remembering Those Who Went Before.. Not to be confused with Veterans Day (November 11), which honors all military veterans (both those who died in service and those who did not), Memorial Day has become an occasion, over tim….. We Are Far Too Easily Pleased.. May 23, 2013.. It’s a beautiful thing when a single sentence  ...   ago this fall, C.. Lewis quietly crossed from this life into the next.. While the assassination of John F.. Kennedy captured the world’s attention on November 22, 1963, one Clive Staples Lewis — his friends called him Jack — breathed his last and took one big step toward becoming the kind of glorious creature in the coming new creation he speaks about in his famous sermon.. “The Weight of Glory.. It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you….. Tullian Talks Regeneration.. May 14, 2013.. Do you know the exact moment you were saved? Saul of Tarsus did.. As did the great Augustine.. Many in church history have testified to dramatic, unmistakable experiences of the new birth, when God touched their dead hearts and gave them new spiritual life by his Holy Spirit.. But this is not the experience of most.. Count.. Tullian Tchividjian.. among us.. Tullian is the pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.. He grew up in a Christian home — his grandfather is Billy Graham — yet he rebelled defiantly for a season, and was born again in God’s good timing, with dramatic change in his life trajectory.. But even the effects of his regeneration being as radical as they ar….. Her Children Arise and Call Her Blessed.. May 12, 2013.. Mother’s Day is a sweet opportunity for Christians to celebrate one of God’s most significant means of his common and redeeming grace.. For most, there’s some bitter flavor somewhere.. We live in a fallen world.. All mothers are sinful — even Jesus’s own mother knew well her need for a Savior (Luke 1:47) and for God’s mercy (Luke 1:50).. Whether your own mother monumentally failed you, or you’re a mother who’s all too aware of how you’ve failed your children, there is goodness and grace to acknowledge and appreciate in almost every situation, even when deeply tarnished by sin.. But for many of us, our hearts soar in thanksgiving when God brings to mind our mothers and grandmothers, or our wife ….. The Outrageous Claim of the Ascension.. May 9, 2013.. Today is Ascension Day, the fortieth day after Easter Sunday.. For centuries the Christian church has marked this day (also called Ascension Thursday) in remembrance of Jesus’s bodily ascent to heaven.. The number forty is based on Acts 1:3: “He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them.. during forty days.. and speaking about the kingdom of God.. ” Ten days later we celebrate Pentecost (Acts 2:1), fifty days (seven full weeks) after Easter, when Jesus poured out the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1–33) on his fledgling church.. Don’t be too surprised if you haven’t heard of Ascension Day, or even if it’s been a while since you’ve heard any reference to Jesus’s asce….. 5.. 9..

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