Each Wednesday we share some recent links that we found informative, insightful, or helpful. These are often related to Crossway books, Bibles, or authors—but not always. We hope this list is an interesting and encouraging break for the middle of your week.
It is certainly true that Scripture—specifically, the New Testament—exposes us to a multiplicity of reasons and motives for growth in Christ. Nevertheless, some motives are more obviously “core” in the NT than others, and the good news of who we are in Christ is always the major driving force in the Christian life. For example, we are not to be driven by fear of a judge, but by the favor of a Father (2 Tim 1:7).
The problem, then, is not making the gospel the source and gratitude the primary motive for the pursuit of godly living. Rather, it is reducing the gospel to one of its gifts. There is no divine gift greater than justification. We never “get over” or “move beyond” the wonder of that gift we have in Christ. Or at least we shouldn’t.
In the end, the reality of evil and suffering actually reinforces my belief in God, for if there were no God there would be no ultimate basis for distinguishing between good and evil. How could anything be literally evil in a godless, purposeless, ultimately meaningless universe? If humans are just one of the many accidental products of mindless natural processes, why would our experiences have any special significance? The universe neither knows nor cares—but God does.
Those of us who grew up in the 80s and 90s still remember the intensity of Zack’s confronting Jessie about her popping caffeine pills, or the time he got drunk at a party and totalled his dad’s car. The “very special episode” of our favorite sitcoms always served to drive home a moral lesson that would have made most later Star Trek writers cringe.
Strangely, this is what we seem to do with the parables of Jesus . . .
Dr. R.C. Sproul, the first president of RBC and soon-to-be chancellor of the institution, expressed his delight on the occasion of this announcement. “Our long-term plan to ensure that Reformation Bible College grows under the direction of godly, qualified leadership enables me to maintain effective oversight of all of the outreach of Ligonier Ministries. Adding Dr. Nichols as president of RBC advances our outreach significantly,” Dr. Sproul said. “In Dr. Nichols, God has provided us with a leader whose passion for the great truths of the Christian faith, the wisdom of the Reformed tradition, and love for education will serve the needs of our students and faculty well in the years ahead.”
5. The Gospel Coalition interviews David Mathis and Jonathan Parnell about their new book, How to Stay Christian in Seminary
What’s the most common misconception about life and ministry you perceive among those first entering seminary?
I wouldn’t know how to gauge the most common misconception, but I could raise a flag about one danger—what we might call a messianic view of the ministry, where we feel like our lives need to be worthy of written Gospel accounts. It’s a dramatized view of the Christian ministry, which subtly influences us to think that every step in life and ministry needs to be sensational and feel historic.