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The apostle Paul is one of the most, if not the most, important Christian who has ever lived. His conversion and subsequent life of ministry is powerful evidence for the reality and truth of the Christian faith.

Renowned and respected scholar F.F. Bruce’s book Paul: Apostle of the Heart Set Free provides an in-depth overview of Paul’s upbringing, conversion, ministry, teachings, and travels. Bruce includes quite a bit of information about the Roman empire and the world in which Paul lived. This book is a goldmine of information!

I highly recommend Paul: Apostle of the Heart Set Free. If I ever teach a class on the life and ministry of Paul, this will be the textbook.

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I’ve come across several articles lately that are good and worth consideration.

First, Jon Bloom writes on “The Real Root of Sexual Sin” at the Desiring God blog. You can read it here.

“70 Prompts for Praising God” is a goldmine of a resource on prayer. You can read it here.

We hear a lot about “privilege” today, especially white privilege. Jonathan Leeman has written a thoughtful piece about it from a biblical perspective. You can read it here.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

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Katherine Timpf, of National Review, reports that Bloomington, Indiana  is changing the name of Columbus Day and Good Friday in order to “better reflect cultural sensitivity in the workplace.” You can read the entire article here, but these two paragraphs sum it up well:

As cute as all of that sounds, I really have a hard time seeing how renaming Good Friday in particular amounts to valuing “diversity” or “cultural sensitivity.” In fact, it almost seems like the opposite. Good Friday is an important holiday in the Christian churches, and “Good Friday” is what those churches have chosen to call it. What’s the issue? After all, it’s not like it’s called “All People Except Christians Are Bad Friday.” Suggesting that the name of a Holy Day is some kind of dirty phrase that needs changing is anything but sensitive, and a true celebration of diversity would be allowing a religion to keep the words it uses to describe its own celebrations — even if that religion is different from yours.

Calling Good Friday “Good Friday” isn’t forcing anyone to change his or her beliefs. It’s not offensive or controversial; it’s just calling something what it’s called. The fact is, people have the Friday before Easter off because it is a religious holiday for Christians — and no matter what you name it in city memos, that will still be true. Calling Good Friday “Spring Holiday” isn’t being sensitive . . . it’s being inaccurate.

And if you don’t celebrate it, then so what? You’re still getting paid time off on a Friday – and believe it or not, there are much tougher things out there that you could have to deal with.

Melissa Kruger has some wise words for women (which also apply to men) in her article “Sisters, Jesus Is Not Your Cheerleader.”

Kevin DeYoung makes the case for Christian magnanimity here, using the recent Mike Pence experience at the Broadway play called “Hamilton.”

John Tierney, from City Journal, explains who’s really at war with science. Here’s a spoiler: it isn’t the Right. “The Real War on Science” can be read here. It’s a long read, but worth it.

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If you haven’t read The Babylon Bee, you really need to start. It’s a Christian satire site, somewhat like The Onion. It’s creator is Adam Ford, who also does the Adam4d.com comics site (which is also excellent). Here’s an article from World which gives some background on Adam.

We should take God, His Word, and people seriously – but not ourselves. We have to be able to laugh at ourselves every once in a while to stay sane.

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There have been some good, thoughtful, and eye-opening articles recently – all of them worth thinking about.

Ligonier Ministries has produced another survey about what Americans believe theologically.  It’s worse than the results two years ago. You can read it here.

In the upcoming election, or any election for that matter, should you “vote your conscience”? Bryce Young provides us with his answer here.

Albert Mohler weighs in on Andy Stanley’s denial of the Bible’s authority in this article. If the Bible isn’t our final authority for faith and practice, then who or what is?

How may times have you heard a brother or sister in Christ tell you that they’ve made  a decision because they “had a peace about it”? Probably a lot. But is that idea supported by Scripture? Eric Davis has an answer here.

Do you love your reputation more than Christ? Jared Wilson explains why the answer has to be “no.” You can read it here.

 

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Kevin DeYoung provides 15 helpful tips for discerning truth from error when it comes to Bible teaching in this post. False teaching is rampant in today’s church and the first thing we need to be able to do is know it when we hear and see it. As Paul told Titus, “But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine” (2:1).

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Why did Jesus teach in parables? That’s a good question, but the answer is not as clear as you might think. First of all, Jesus didn’t always use parables (or stories) when He taught. He only taught in parables after He was rejected by the Jewish leadership (mainly the Pharisees) who claimed He performed His miracles by the power of Satan. Second of all, the Lord Jesus didn’t teach in parables to make it easier for His hearers to understand. He taught in parables in order to hide His teaching from those who had rejected Him, and for those with ears to hear, they illustrate and clarify the truth.

John MacArthur makes those points well, and persuasively, in his book Parables: The Mysteries of God’s Kingdom Revealed Through the Stories Jesus Told. MacArthur provides what we’ve come to expect from him – a precise and thorough treatment of Scripture that’s both informative and challenging. Most of all, it’s faithful to Scripture.

Parables isn’t an exhaustive study of all of Jesus’ parables, but it does cover a number of them. The lessons drawn are timeless and much needed in today’s American church. I can recommend this book without any reservations whatsoever. Tolle lege!

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