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Jan 2023 25 Jan 25, 2023

In a previous article I spoke about what it means to live “under grace” in the sense in which Paul used the phrase in Romans 6:14. But what does it mean to live “under law”? Perhaps a story from church history will provide an answer to our question. This is a story about an exceedingly odd Christian man. He is known to history as St. Simeon the Stylite. Simeon was born in 390 a.d. and died in 459. At the age of 13 he heard a sermon on the Beatitu...Read More

Jan 2023 23 Jan 23, 2023

One of the more encouraging statements in Paul’s letter to the Romans is found in chapter six. There the apostle says this of born-again believers in Jesus: “For sin shall have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace” (Rom. 6:14). There is much to ponder in this verse, but I want to focus on the final phrase: “under grace.” What does it mean to live “under grace”? I suspect that more than a few of you, ...Read More

Jan 2023 16 Jan 16, 2023

MICHAEL MCCLYMOND [I am hearing more and more these days of professing Christians embracing the notion of universal salvation, the belief that ultimately all mankind, both believers and unbelievers, will be reconciled to God. Michael McClymond, who wrote the superb two-volume refutation of universalism, The Devil’s Redemption, poses a dozen questions for anyone who is tempted by this false doctrine.] No compassionate person delights in seeing other people suffer....Read More

Jan 2023 12 Jan 12, 2023

Jack Hayford went to be with the Lord on January 8 at the age of 88. I never met him personally, but I greatly benefited from his ministry in three specific ways. Two ways that he helped me were by means of two of his many books: The Beauty of Spiritual Language: Unveiling the Mystery of Speaking in Tongues, and Majesty: God Enthroned in our Worship. Although I didn’t agree with everything in his book on tongues, his was one of the first books I read on the subjec...Read More

Jan 2023 9 Jan 9, 2023

Perhaps only for the second time, I’m using a line from the film, The Sound of Music, as the title to this article. Someone pointed out to me that John Piper recently posted an article in which he answered several questions about his favorite things in life, from movies to books to food to hobbies. I was asked if I might follow suit and list my own. So, here goes. Movies This one is really hard, as I have a long list of favorite movies. But I’ll limit mysel...Read More

Jan 2023 2 Jan 2, 2023

In the wake of Elon Musk’s recent declaration that he doesn’t mind going to hell since most people will be there with him, I thought it wise for us to revisit the many myths and misconceptions that people have about eternal punishment. The reality of hell and eternal punishment is not a popular topic, even among Christians. Part of the problem is that the nature of hell has been horribly distorted in our culture and portrayed as an experience that is far fro...Read More

Dec 2022 30 Dec 30, 2022

There’s an old commercial making fresh rounds on TV these days. It features Ron Reagan, son of the late president, Ronald Reagan. In the commercial, first aired in 2014, Reagan urges everyone to join with him in the promotion of an organization known as Freedom from Religion. Not freedom “of” religion, but freedom “from” it. He happily embraces atheism as his chosen perspective on the existence of God. But most amazing of all is that at the ...Read More

Dec 2022 26 Dec 26, 2022

In the past I’ve gone beyond ten books for the year, but this time I’ve limited my list to the traditional ten. I hope you enjoy each one! (10) Deeper: Real Change for Real Sinners, by Dane Ortlund (Wheaton: Crossway), 186 pages. In something of a sequel to his best-selling book, Gentle and Lowly, Dane Ortlund, my former student at Wheaton College and son of one of my close friends, Ray Ortlund, has written a superb and accessible explanation of the way Chr...Read More

Dec 2022 22 Dec 22, 2022

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: y...Read More

Dec 2022 21 Dec 21, 2022

A question that people often ask is how the visit of the wise men in Matthew 2 fits in with story of Luke 2? You will recall that the wise men came to Jerusalem asking about the impending birth of the “king of the Jews” (Matt. 2:2). Herod got wind of this and enlisted the wise men to go to Bethlehem, find this child, and then report back to him. The wise men went to Bethlehem and found the baby Jesus with his mother Mary in what Matthew calls a “house&r...Read More