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Midweek Roundup – 7/23/14

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.


1. The Gospel Coalition reviews Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin

[I]s Wilkin overstating a crisis of biblical illiteracy? If the current statistics found in the American Bible Society’s “State of the Bible Report” are any indication, then the answer is a resounding no. Only 37 percent of adults reported reading their Bible at least once a week apart from Sunday services. Among other things, this dismal stat reveals that we’ve developed several unhelpful habits that keep us from biblical nourishment. Wilkin has identified and creatively labeled some of these as the “Xanex,” “Pinball,” and “Personal Shopper” approaches. While humorous, each habit seems far too familiar to my own journey with biblical study.

2. White Horse Inn interviews Justin Holcomb about how Christians should respond to sexual abuse

How should Christians respond to the growing number of sexual abuse cases? How does this issue affect the mental and spiritual lives of both victims and perpetrators of this form of assault? More importantly, how should we apply the gospel of grace in these situations? Mike Horton will be discussing these questions with Justin and Lindsey Holcomb, authors of Rid of My Disgrace: Hope and Healing for Victims of Sexual Assault.

3. Jen Wilkin on helping your kids say ‘No’ to porn

The first time porn was served at the cafeteria lunch table, my son was 11 years old. Does that seem young to you? Research suggests that one in three children ages 11 to 14 have viewed pornography on a mobile device. Add to that the very real possibility that a child will stumble across explicit content on YouTube or in a pop-up ad during innocent computer usage, and one thing becomes clear: parents must be proactive in talking about porn with their kids.

4. Jonathan Leeman on when you should not submit to a church

All of us will, at times, be called to endure humbly a leader’s mistakes and sins. Nonetheless, should you find yourself in a church where the leadership is characteristically abusive, I would, in most cases, encourage you to flee. Flee to protect your discipleship, to protect your family, to set a good example for the members left behind, to serve non-Christian neighbors by not lending credibility to the church’s ministry.

5. James Anderson explains the difference between soft and hard determinism

Recall that compatibilism refers to the thesis that determinism is compatible with freedom (i.e., that people can make free choices, for which they can be held morally responsible, even if determinism is true). As I noted in my earlier post, there are different types of determinism and thus there can be various compatibilist theses. . . .

Given this basic understanding of compatibilism, we can define ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ determinism as follows: soft determinism is compatibilist determinism and hard determinism is incompatibilist determinism. In other words, soft and hard determinists agree that determinism is true, but they disagree about whether free choices are possible given that determinism is true. The ‘softies’ say they are; the ‘hardies’ say they aren’t.

July 23, 2014 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Book News,Midweek Roundup,News & Announcements | Author: Matt Tully @ 9:30 am | 0 Comments »

Midweek Roundup – 7/16/14

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.


1. Jen Wilkin on how wealth impacts Bible study

Statistics show that most of us have a Bible at arm’s length twenty four hours a day. According to mashable.com, 56.4% of Americans own a smart phone or tablet, meaning they have the capability to access Scripture with the touch of a screen. That’s before we consider how many have access through a PC or a hard copy. And no one is going to arrest us for reading them.

American Christians are never far from a copy of the Bible. We have been given “much” access. How can we overlook the privilege of such wealth by leaving our Bibles unopened?

2. Joe Thorn lists 4 characteristics of earnest preaching

I have always been drawn to those who can speak with creativity and with conviction. This was true before my conversion, and is especially true today. Since my conversion, I find myself hungering to hear the word preached. When it comes to preaching, there are two basic things that I want to hear from a preacher: the word of God andearnestness. If he doesn’t bring the word of God, he has nothing to say. If he isn’t earnest, I’m tempted to not believe him. As I evaluate my own preaching, and coach other preachers, I find that earnestness is one of the areas that needs the most attention. A man’s earnestness in preaching is often the hand that grips the hearer and brings him along side the preacher to the truth proclaimed.

3. Audio: Timothy George explains why he is an evangelical and a Baptist

Dr. Timothy George has been the dean of Beeson Divinity School since its inception in 1988. He recently contributed a chapter entitled “Why I Am an Evangelical and a Baptist” to the book Why We Belong: Evangelical Unity and Denominational Diversity (Crossway, 2013). Showing how denominational affiliation can be natural without being negative and how evangelical identity can help rather than hinder Christian unity, Why We Belong explains both the personal and doctrinal reasons each of the contributors fits not only in their church, but also in the Church.

4. Gloria Furman reflects on “missional motherhood”

As a mom I have a lot of responsibilities, priorities, and messages. One time at a church potluck my preschool-aged son was standing by the dessert table that was piled high with donuts. (Ok, this scene probably happens at all of our church potlucks.) A woman saw him eye-ing the donuts like he was a three-year-old standing next to a table of donuts. (You get the picture.) She asked him, “I don’t know if you can have that, little guy. What does your Mommy say?” With great flourish and conviction my son answered, “What my Mommy says? My Mommy… she says to me, ‘Judson! Flush. The. Toilet.’”

5. Books at a Glance reviews Tough Topics by Sam Storms

Many “Bible Problems” type books focus on alleged contradictions and such, but Storms’ focus is on Scripture’s teaching on various subjects. The questions range from more personal to theological and matters of denominational debate. It’s doubtful that you’ve not puzzled over many of these questions yourself, and there are likely some questions here that you just haven’t yet dare ask – “Will There Be Sex in Heaven?” (chapter 17).

July 16, 2014 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Book News,Midweek Roundup,News & Announcements | Author: Matt Tully @ 8:00 am | 0 Comments »

Midweek Roundup – 7/9/14

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.


1. Her.meneutics reccommends Women of the Word as one of their picks for summer

On vacation I pause my chapter-by-chapter daily Bible reading and spend the week focusing on one particular passage. This year, I’m looking forward to using Women of the Word to guide my reading. Wilkin is simple, practical, and unapologetic about the plain hard work of Bible study—just what I need to get my head out of those fluffy white clouds.

2.  Jonathan Parnell reflects on when the abortion industry “self-destructs”

When will the rhetoric about women’s health and women’s rights be exposed for what it truly is (since, of course, by women’s “health” and women’s “rights” they must not mean the near 28 million girls aborted since 1973)? What will it take? Where is the tipping point when the truth of their enterprise can no longer be ignored by the popular conscience?

Signs suggest that mind-changing momentum is beginning to build, and to our surprise, it’s not so much from the direct work of pro-life advocates, but from the unmasked mishaps of abortion activists.

3. Paul Tripp offers some advice for sleepless nights

We all struggle to sleep at night, and to be fair, life in a fallen world is harsh and unpredictable. There are many outside factors that make life difficult and provide reason for restless nights.

But I’m deeply persuaded that in the midst of trial, we often abandon our theology. We quit believing that the Bible has the answers for life and we try to take the reins. With the weight of the world now on our self-appointed shoulders, we struggle to get a good night of sleep.

4. Kevin DeYoung calls for clarity with regard to evangelicals and cities

I love cities. I’ve spent time in Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and Chicago this summer. I love the energy, the opportunities, and the history of our nation’s big cities. I have no desire to discourage any Christian from moving to the city for ministry. Our cities have lots of people, and so they need lots of Christians, lots of churches, and lots of evangelical institutions. I’m all for evangelicals and cities coming together.

But what does that mean?

5. Dane Ortlund shares four reflections on his fourth anniversary at Crossway

4. Content-first publishing. If we don’t make money, we shrink and eventually disappear. But we say no to book and Bible projects that might sell widely but compromise out doctrinal standards, and yes to projects that make an important contribution to the kingdom and the church even if we anticipate modest sales. I love that. Truth trumps the bottom line. Because of #1 above.

July 9, 2014 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Book News,Midweek Roundup,News & Announcements | Author: Matt Tully @ 8:30 am | 0 Comments »

Midweek Roundup – 7/2/14

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.


1. Books at Glance discusses Why We Belong

If you don’t expect a book about inter-denominational unity and denominational distinctives and history to hold your interest, then I suggest you pick up a copy of Why We Belong: Evangelical Unity and Denominational Diversity and see if within minutes you have not already found it thoroughly enjoyable.

2. Scott McKnight reflects on The Creedal Imperative by Carl Trueman

With the skill of his field, Trueman then sketches the early church and the rise of the major creeds — from the rule of faith to the Nicene Creed and beyond — and then sketches the Reformation Confessions. (He’s a staunch Presbyterian but has a nice sketch, too, of the 39 Articles.)

The best part of this book, other than Trueman’s occasional zingers at church goofinesses and cultural nonsense, is his chapter on the usefulness of creeds. I found this chapter to be theologically helpful but also pastorally aware (he pastors).

3. Christ and Pop Culture highlight’s Greg Thornbury’s book, Recovering Classic Evangelicalism

In his book, offered for free to Christ and Pop Culture members as a part of the Creator Spotlight Rotating Bundle courtesy of Crossway, Thornbury embarks on a recovery journey using [Carl] Henry’s writings. The goal is to recapture a vision for being an evangelical in the classic sense that Henry embodied. He starts, appropriately, with epistemology (“Epistemology Matters”), before moving on to theology (“Theology Matters”), Scripture (“Inerrancy Matters”) and finally, cultural engagement (“Culture Matters”). He concludes with a chapter on why evangelicalism matters, and makes a solid case for recovery rather than abandonment.

4. Doug Wilson names his book of the month for July

I have felt for some years that the common slander against Calvinists — that we are unpoetic dolts — is not simply an unfair slander. All slander is unfair, of course, but why is this one so ubiquitous? I believe it is a strategic slander, an effort to spike some of our biggest guns. In response I have been collecting quotes on the aesthetic genius of Calvinism — I have quite a few of them actually — doing background research for a book tentatively called Puritan Poetics. Suffice it to say there will be a number of quotations from this book in there.

Every Christian preacher needs to absorb this book.

5. Christianity Today reviews Dispatches from the Front by Tim Keesee

Keesee, founder of Frontline Missions International, compiles stories from his travels to places where Christians live with profound suffering and joy. Though some of the accounts lack context, and some of the language veers into the sensational, Keesee’s stories and vivid writing bring the reader close to heroic and suffering people around the world.

July 2, 2014 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Book News,Midweek Roundup,News & Announcements | Author: Matt Tully @ 8:30 am | 0 Comments »

Midweek Roundup – 6/25/14

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.


1. Reformation21 reviews One with Christ by Marcus Johnson

One of the most helpful arguments in this section was Johnson’s reply to the common objection to imputation found in the writings of N.T. Wright and others. Johnson rightly observes, “If the objection to the doctrine of imputation rests on the notion that Christ’s righteousness is transferred mechanically and extrinsically from him to believers–that is, the ‘righteousness of Christ’ is a quality or commodity that can exist apart from Christ’s person–then I believe the objection is legitimate” (p.108). This of course brings to mind the well-known objection from Wright that “it makes no sense whatever to say that the judge imputes, imparts, bequeaths, conveys or otherwise transfers his righteousness to either the plaintiff or the defendant. Righteousness is not an object, a substance or a gas which can be passed across the courtroom.” (2) Johnson’s citation from Calvin, however, is devastating to this caricature . . .

2. Reaching Millennials at Capital Hill Baptist Church

Capitol Hill isn’t doing what most churches do to try to reach Millennials. Lately, the normal prescription is a relaxed dress code, coffee bar in the lobby, and maybe a violinist in the worship band. But here in Washington, what’s reaching Millennials is orderliness. And 5-minute prayers (four of them). And a 55-minute sermon based on one chapter of Psalms.

“You will be bored if you don’t open your Bible and leave it open,” Pastor Mark Dever said before his message on Psalm 143. “All I’m gonna do is talk about what’s in the Bible.”

3. Jen Wilkin reflects on daughters and dating

I have two teen-aged daughters, so it was with some interest that I read a recent post entitled “Application to Date My Daughter”. It was pretty funny, playing on the idea of the stereotypical shotgun-toting father and the mortified daughter as they negotiate the tricky terrain of a first date.  Then Christian bloggers grabbed the concept, and for the most part, these versions were funny, too. There were some common themes: slouchy-panted unemployed suitors, dads breathing out Chuck Norris-inspired threats. I didn’t lose my well-developed sense of humor until I made the tactical error of glancing at some of the comments. And then I was just flat-out sad.

4. Books at a Glance interviews Michael Horton about his new book, Calvin on the Christian Life

If a Christian today could ask Calvin how to progress in practical godliness, how would Calvin counsel him?

First, know who God is. It’s not our speculations, but the unfolding drama of creation, redemption, and consummation revealed in Scripture, that is determinative. But this knowledge arouses not only reverence, but a sense of dread as our self-exalting pretensions are measured by his glory, love, justice, and holiness. Second, therefore, we flee to Christ – daily, not just at the beginning of the Christian life.

5. Andy Naselli shares 7 excerpts from Expositional Preaching by David Helm

  1. Too many of us unconsciously believe that a well-studied understanding of our cultural context, rather than the Bible, is the key to preaching with power. (p. 17)
  2. [M]y congregation’s needs, as perceived by my contextualized understanding, should never become the driving power behind what I say in the pulpit. (p. 29)

June 25, 2014 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Book News,Midweek Roundup,News & Announcements | Author: Matt Tully @ 8:00 am | 0 Comments »