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Packer & the Human Element in Preaching

At Desiring God recently Tony Reinke posted a video of J. I. Packer giving advice to aspiring writers. Also included was a transcribed portion quoted below. Though Packer is talking about writing, his comments apply very well to preaching and capture a concern of mine about preaching. There are writers who think that simply by […]

Calvin, “It is Not Enough to Preach”

A common theme at this site is the importance of extra-pulpit ministry. While upholding the crucial importance of preaching, we also need to uphold the crucial importance of direct, individual ministry to our people. I have pointed to various historical examples who have made this point, and recently I came across a great comment on […]

Graphic Novel on How We Got the Bible

The Book of God: How We Got the Bible, by Ben Avery & Javier Saltares (Kingstone Comics, 2012), pp. Ages 8+ A graphic novel on the production and preservation of the Bible? Brilliant! I had no previous awareness of KingstoneComics until I happened to see this book in Sam’s. I was intrigued by the idea […]

“Thank You for Tomorrow”

It has been fairly common in our family for the youngest child to delight in saying the blessing before meals. So for the last while, Timothy, our 4 year old, has often eagerly asked to say the blessing. His prayers have developed of course, moving first from unintelligible to intelligible and then adding and substituting […]

The Sufficiency & Perfection of Ministers of the Word of God

Expounding 1 Timothy 4:12-13 Calvin has much valuable to say about the preaching ministry. Here is just one key quote: This is the sufficiency, yes, and perfection of the ministers of the word of God, namely, that they be of good understanding in Holy Scripture, and be faithful expounders of it. If they have this, […]

Calvin on God’s Provision & Joy

Preaching on 1 Timothy 4 (esp. vv. 7-10) Calvin repeatedly stresses the importance of the eternal perspective and the reality of the resurrection for our perseverance. Things often go badly for Christians and the wicked seem to escape (believers were being executed in his day). He also warns against the folly of seeking our ultimate […]

Why do we “say a blessing” before eating?

In most of the Christian circles I know, people are accustomed to saying a prayer of thanks before their meals- “returning thanks,” “saying a blessing,” “saying grace.” I have also found that many like me who grew up with this practice also somewhere along the way began to wonder where this practice came from. I […]

Growing up with Psalm Singing

Today I read this wonderful article by Petra Verwijs, Lessons I Learned from Singing the Psalms: Growing Up with the Genevan Psalter. This article captures much of what has captivated me about the singing of the Psalms. I did not grow up singing them, but I want to appropriate their riches in this same way […]

Is Forgiveness Conditioned Upon Confessing Each Individual Sin?

Along the way, growing up, I encountered various people who believed or taught that in order to have your sins forgiven you had to confess each sin specifically. I saw this cause trouble in a number of lives. Even though, at the time, I was not prepared to argue against the idea, I did not […]

Martin Bucer, plurality of elders & the oversight of souls

I have previously commended the excellent book Concerning the True Care of Souls, by Martin Bucer. In his discussion of Titus 1:5-7 Bucer argues the text (and others like it) require a plurality of elders and that these elders are to be pastors engaged in the oversight of souls (not a corporate board as is […]