Tag Archives: christian living

Recommended Short Reads (8/17/2016)

Watch the Trailer for ‘The Biggest Story: The Animated Short Film’  “Narrated by the author and featuring captivating animations adapted from the book, along with an original score by composer John Poon, The Biggest Story: The Animated Short Film will engage children as they are led on an exciting journey through the Bible in just 26 minutes—connecting the dots from the garden of Eden to Christ’s death on the cross to the new heaven and new earth.”

How Can I Learn to Receive—and Give—Criticism in Light of the Cross? Justin Taylor helpfully outlines Alfred Poirier’s work.

When You’re Not a Typical Woman “In my conversations with ladies of many ages, I’ve noticed that we have varying understandings of the typical woman, but few of us think of ourselves as one. Start a conversation with a woman in your church, ask her all about herself, find out her life story, and usually you will hit a point where she will tell you that she doesn’t (or didn’t) feel like a typical woman.”

Is the Christian Faith Rational?  “When I say that Christianity is rational, I do not mean that the truth of Christianity in all of its majesty can be deduced … Keep Reading

Recommended Short Reads (8/8/2016)

5 Lessons My Parents Taught Me About Sexuality Jaquelle Crow outlines how her parents helped her have an understanding of sexuality from a Christian worldview. “There were certain truths they impressed on me—some implicit and some explicit—that were crucial for catching a Christ-centered vision of sexuality. Five stand out most brightly when I reflect on the past 18 years.”

Biblical Friendship Cannot Be Hacked “Surely something as biblical and supremely human as the discipline of friendship is worth recapturing. But where do we begin? How can we reclaim the biblical contours of such an important relationship?”

Two Ways of Thinking “There are fundamentally two ways to approach any concept, and only two. We can start with God and His Word, or we can start somewhere else; and the ‘somewhere else’ usually boils down to ourselves.”

My Favorite Book for Discipling New (and Old) Christians First, like I mentioned, the book really does cover all the basics. Not only does it include a section on taking up the cross and following Jesus, but also a section on why we can trust the Bible. Not only are the topics of Bible reading and church involvement covered, but also Christian sexual ethics and … Keep Reading

Recommended Short Reads (8/3/2016)

No Bible, No Breakfast A good example of how we can (and shouldn’t) make a helpful personal approach a burden on other Christians’ conscience.

Satan’s Favorite Weapon Against You “Therefore, Satan’s primary goal in the thousands of his various attacks on us is to take down our faith. His primary goal against the church is to fragment the formidable force of united faith and isolate believers, weakening the church and making individuals more vulnerable (Hebrews 3:12–13, 10:25). His forces are hell-bent on these strategic objectives (Ephesians 6:11–12).” Jon Bloom then offers four helps to resist the attack.

What is Facing the Church Today? “Being American and being Christian are NOT one-in-the-same. The Scriptures define Christian very differently than culture at large. It is quite possible that those people who checked the ‘Christian’ box on a survey are no longer doing so; quite frankly because they no longer feel the societal pressure to be ‘Christian.’ To them, shedding the label ‘Christian’ makes sense.”

Recommended Resources on Assurance for Tenderhearted Souls Tim Raymond recommends some helpful resources to help the “true believer who is nonetheless overly anxious, almost obsessive, about his spiritual state. Everybody around him will quickly identify him as a Keep Reading

What We Believe: Prayer

What one believes drives what they do—that is an unavoidable fact of life.  We may not even be aware of all the beliefs that we have, but behind each of our actions there is a motivating belief.  This post is part of a series featuring foundational truths that Christians believe so that we can have those truths in the driver seat of our lives.  To that end, this resource features sections describing What We Believe—each with a corresponding description of What We Do. The topic for this issue is prayer and it is also available as a free digital booklet (PDF).

We Believe: Prayer is Necessary, Commanded, and a Privilege


You might be so familiar with saying the word that you don’t know exactly what you mean by “prayer.” So, really, what is prayer? “Prayer is personal communication with God. This definition is very broad. What we call ‘prayer’ includes prayers of request for ourselves or for others (sometimes called prayers of petition or intercession), confession of sin, adoration, and praise and thanksgiving.”[1]

Prayer is Necessary

God communicates with man through the Bible and the indwelling Holy Spirit. However, our relationship with God is not Keep Reading

The Author Determines the Meaning: Now, What Do I Do About It?

The previous post describes why we should not just read the Bible for how it makes us feel or “what it says to me.” If that is true, how should I read the Bible, what do I do about it?

Commit to an Author-Determined Approach to Meaning

We do not read the Bible to see a reflection of ourselves in the text; we read the Bible as a window through which we discover God’s truth about the universe, ourselves, and Him. “[When reading the Bible] the goal is to arrive at the creative intention of the original author contained in the words of the text…the meaning of the text is what the author consciously intended to say by his text. Thus, the meaning of Romans is what Paul intended to communicate to his readers in Rome when he wrote his letter.”[1]

Who is the Author of the Bible?  God is the ultimate author; and He appointed human authors.

God inspired a variety of human authors over a period of approximately 1500 years who wrote as thinking, feeling human beings to convey His message. God superintended over the process so that as the human author expressed God’s inspiration in their Keep Reading

One-to-One Bible Reading Guide, Part IV: Advice Specifically for Churches and Organizations to Start a One-to-One Bible Reading Discipleship Ministry

This article provides additional guidance specifically for churches that want to start a one-to-one Bible reading discipleship ministry. Unlike other articles in the one-to-one Bible reading guide series, what follows focuses on practical, organizational steps a church can take to start a one-to-one Bible reading discipleship team.

To see the theological basis for one-to-one Bible reading discipleship, see One-to-One Bible Reading Guide, Part I

To see how to start a one-to-one Bible reading meeting, see One-to-One Bible Reading Guide, Part II

To see some resources to use in a one-to-one Bible reading meeting and a model meeting schedule, see One-to-One Bible Reading Guide, Part III.

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Start Strong: A Guide for New and Growing Believers Who Desire to Learn to Follow Christ

You can work through this free digital booklet (PDF) with someone to share the gospel, confirm understanding of the gospel, convey the basics of living as a Christian who follows Jesus, and begin to equip them to make disciples.

Who is God and does He even exist? What is the Bible and why should I believe it? What about the world: is it an accident of time and chance or was it created with a goal? Finally, who am I and do I have a purpose in life?

These questions are important for everyone to ask, but they are crucial for those people who are called Christians. If you are reading these words, then you are at least interested in Christianity. The goal of this resource is to help you find answers to the questions above and, more importantly, to show you how to live in response. This process of learning and living is called discipleship and Jesus called people to be and make disciples. Another word that is used for disciple is follower: in this case, a follower of Jesus Christ.

The Start Strong title, outline, and content are the work of Edgewood Baptist Church of Keep Reading

Recommended Short Reads (12/10/15)

Michael A. G. Haykin’s Review of Ibrahim Ag Mohamed’s God’s Love for Muslims: Communicating Bible Grace and New Life This is a timely read given current events and the American church’s lack of familiarity with Islam. An excerpt from Haykin’s review: “His profound familiarity with Islam, and also his extensive knowledge of the Scriptures, is evident throughout this handsomely-produced book in which he deals with Muslim beliefs and practice (9–42), their misunderstandings about the Christian Faith (43–83), and then how believers in the West especially can help Muslims come to true faith in the Lord Jesus (84–95).”

Spurious Correlations Some fun proof that correlations aren’t always useful.

The Right Doctrine from the Wrong Text This post points out the popular misuse of Matthew 25. We owe it to the generation to follows to not just have right conclusions but also to use right means to reach those conclusions.

You Need the Local Church to be Healthy “In less than three minutes, Trip Lee explains why the local church is essential to every Christian’s health. The following is a lightly edited transcript.”

A Crash Course on the Muslim Worldview and Islamic Theology Here’s a six part video series: Understanding Islam (Part … Keep Reading

Nurturing a New Believer

I hope we can all agree that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. To teach that in an evangelistic Bible study or in meeting with a new believer, it makes a lot of sense to draw heavily on the truth that is in Chapters 3-5 of Romans.

But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. (Romans 3:21-26 ESV)


What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh?

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Review & Analysis: “Evangelism and the Intellectual,” from Billy Graham

Billy Graham addressed Harvard University Law Students in 1962. Justin Taylor describes how the audio is a treat to the present day listener: “For those of us whose only image of Dr. Graham is of an older man speaking slowly in a stadium while giving the simple gospel message, it’s quite interesting to listen to the 43-year-old evangelist quoting contemporary psychologists and playrights and philosophers as he seeks to explain sin, atonement, conversion, and meaning to an audience of skeptics.”

This is my analysis, observations, and takeaways from the surprisingly relevant lecture.

In an address to intellectuals about how Christian evangelism interacts with “the intellectual,” Billy Graham is very transparent and direct. As his speech will reveal, he is quite aware that there are likely many in the room who do not think much of the authority or relevance of Scripture. To make a case for the relevance of the gospel, Graham demonstrates that society—and humanity—has a problem.

Symptoms of Humanity’s ProblemKeep Reading